Arts & Entertainment

Jersey Tap Fest Celebrates Fifth Year


BLOOMFIELD, N.J., June 12, 2014 – Jersey Tap Fest, NJ's sole dance festival featuring world-class tap faculty and extravaganza, celebrates five years, August 14-17, 2014 in Bloomfield, NJ. The four-day festival will offer more than 30 tap dance classes and a main stage celebration event TAP ‘N TIME, hosted by Caleb Teicher. The Garden State tap dance festival also provides the public various opportunities to participate and interact with tap dancing through a history lesson, jam session, student showcase and faculty meet and greet.

For its fifth anniversary, the festival has launched a new scholarship initiative and has awarded deserving participants with full and partial scholarships, totaling more than $5,000. Of the recipients, five are international students.   

“Jersey Tap Fest is a family dance festival, the family grows ever year and while reflecting on the past four years, all I can do is give continuous thanks and look forward to an amazing 5th anniversary,” says founder and director, Hillary-Marie Michael. “I wanted to help educate the world of the tap masters that have spurred from Jersey—and we’ve been able to not only celebrate local masters each year but also provide an unprecedented opportunity for tap enthusiasts to find a home for exploration and intuitive performance through this intensive training.”

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Quickly becoming a sought after tap event in the Northeast, the yearly TAP ‘N TIME showcase, held August 16, 7:30 p.m. at Bloomfield College’s Westminster Arts Center, will feature dazzling ensembles and young emerging tap dance artists. Directed by Hillary-Marie Michael, TAP ‘N TIME highlights include: Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards (After Midnight), Jason Samuels Smith (Emmy Award winner, SYTYCD, Dancing with the Stars), Jason Janas (Tap Stars, NJTAP), Karen Callaway Williams (NJTAP, Riverdance), Jeff Foote (NJTAP), Kyle Wilder (NJTAP), Hillary-Marie Michael, Boston Tap Company, and more. The inspirational one-legged tap dancer Evan Ruggiero, whose heart warming story was featured on Ellen, also joins the program. The program will be hosted by Bessie Award-winner, Caleb Teicher.

Classes will be taught by a stellar all-star line up of local tri-state teachers, including Jason Samuels Smith, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards (After Midnight), Hillary-Marie Michael, Evan Ruggiero, Hank Smith (Tap History), Kyle Wilder, Deborah Mitchell, Jason Janas, Josie Say (Lindy Hop), Karen Callaway Williams, Jeff Foote, Maurice Chestnut, Sean Fielder, Nicholas Young, and Andrew Atkinson (Music for Tap dancers). The stimulating, demanding and rigorous program serves diverse students from around the world.

Festival founder Hillary-Marie Michael has been recognized in dance publications as one of the youngest accomplished directors and producers on the tap scene, launching Jersey Tap Fest at the age of 19. A native of New Jersey, she joined the NJTAP Dance Ensemble in 2006, and since has has been featured at some of New Jersey and New York's most prestigious venues as her high energy performances and classes have brought her to studios and stages around the world. She performs weekly at Harlem's historical Cotton Club as a part of Dormesiha Sumbry-Edwards' "Sophisticated Ladies" and has worked with Jason Samuels Smith (Company A.C.G.I.), Derick K. Grant (Rhythm Is Our Business), Maurice Chestnut (The Above Ground Project) and more. She is inspiring the younger generation to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit at conferences such as TedxTalks.

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