Big Apple Tap Festival presents 70 classes

Tap master classes in New York CityThe 2016 Big Apple Tap Festival promises another intensive weekend of exciting tap-related activities, including master classes taught by leading artists, tap history talks, a participants showcase, a video presentation, two adult programs and special programs for teens and young tappers.


This year’s festival, set for November 11-13 in New York City, honors tap master Brenda Bufalino, who was recently named the recipient of the 2016 NY Dance and Performance Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance. Bufalino is renowned for her decades-long contribution to the dance field. She’s a co-founder of the American Tap Dance Foundation and a beloved master teacher, director and performance artist.


2016 faculty of Big Apple Tap FestivalIn addition to Bufalino, the festival will see 25 other master teachers leading a total of 70 scheduled classes. Returning teachers include renowned director and choreographer Bob Audy, who will be assisted by Isabel Glasser and Alan Spaulding again; Bril Barrett, artistic director of The Chicago Tap Summit and founder of the world-renowned tap collective M.A.D.D. Rhythms; Israeli hoofers Ofer Ben and Avi Miller; Justin Boccitto, Broadway Dance Center instructor and guest faculty member at The Juilliard School; choreographer Debbi Dee, guest master teacher at Walt Disney World; Emmy-nominated choreographer Gregg Russell; former actress Germaine Salsberg, longtime instructor at Broadway Dance Center; and award-winning Dianne ‘Lady Di’  Walker, recognized as the “Ella Fitzgerald” of Tap Dance.


Big Apple Tap FestivalOther notable teachers leading classes and tap exercises include Karen Callaway Williams, known for being the first African-American female tap dancer and dance captain in Riverdance – The Show; Barbara Duffy, the recipient of the American Tap Dance Foundation’s prestigious Hoofer Award in 2013 and the National Tap Day Committee’s FloBert Award in 2015; Juilliard graduate Mercedes Ellington, who’s currently in the planning stages of creating a Duke Ellington Performing Arts and Entertainment Center in Harlem; and DeWitt Fleming Jr., from Emmy Award-winning HBO series Boardwalk Empire, Cirque du Soliel, and Grammy Award-winning show Riverdance.


Schedule permitting, the Guggenheim, Fulbright, MacArthur and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships recipient Bill Irwin will also be teaching.


Anthony LoCascio at Big Apple Tap FestivalWarm-ups will be offered each day, being led by tap practitioners such as Jason Bernard, Denise Caston, Kathleen Cirioli, April Cook, Megan Maltos, Kendall Owens and Katharine Ponza.


Adding to the festival schedule, a tap history talk will be presented, with Debbi Dee acting as emcee. Plus, a video presentation will be curated by Germaine Salsberg and Avi Miller.



The Participants Showcase will be hosted by Ray Hesselink. All festival participants are encouraged to perform in this showcase and contribute their talents.


New York tap dance festivalRegistration for the 2016 Big Apple Tap Festival is still open. For more information, visit The festival classes and special events will take place at Pearl Studios in midtown Manhattan. The Participants Showcase will be on Saturday, November 12 at The Schomburg Center.