Since our founding in 2003 by tap dancers Gregory Hines and Andrew Nemr, the Tap Legacy™ Foundation has held a mission to preserve and advance the art of tap dance.
We have experimented with a lot of ways of fulfilling that mission. They have included producing shows, movie screenings, and festivals, installing memorial plaques, building informational websites, digital archives and exhibits. Through it all, we have done our best to focus on the people.
Everything in tap dance is about people. This uniquely American art form, as expressed by each individual dancer, is a function of their personality, forged through their unique experience of life. That experience is not isolated from the history. On the contrary. Tap dancers have been significantly affected by the social history of the United States of America. That history isn’t pretty. Imbalances and abuses of power have affected people in America. These imbalances and abuses have affected different races disproportionately. It continues today, and it is sickening.
While we normally lean towards focusing on the joy of dancing and celebrating the wonderful and many cultural contributions of each practitioner, the long hand of history is upon us in this moment. As an organization that is focused on the art form of tap dance and the people who made it so, we find it necessary to do what we can. We don’t presume to know what will be most helpful in this current moment, but we do know that enough is enough.