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March 13, 2012 > Tap Celebration

Tap Celebration

By Isabella Ohlmeyer
Photos By courtesy of Connie Ellis

Dave Barry once said, "Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance." Don't let fear be a barrier, try something new and get ready to tap to the beat in the Second Annual "Tap Celebration" hosted by the Milpitas Fancy Dancers March 17 at the Milpitas Library.

There will be 16 passionate, active individuals from the Milpitas Fancy Dancers to teach people the basic steps in tap dancing and a simple dance combination. Along with learning the movements, participants of the class will also learn about the history of dance.

Tap dancing was created by combining elements of African drumming and dancing, techniques of European clog and step dancing, and the added unique rhythms of jazz music. Tap dancing is distinguished as "American dance," and from its conception, has been a respected art form from all cultures. Screen greats Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and the Nicholas Brothers are some of the popular people associated with tap dancing.

An instructor of Fancy Dancers, Connie Ellis, says that "with the many cultural differences in Milpitas, we can only keep learning and applying what we have learned in our dance performances, and continue to grow through the dedication of our teachers, parents and dancers."

The focus of Fancy Dancers is to encourage and include anyone who wants to learn how to dance. "We want to teach our participants not only the history of dance, but the expression dance holds. The joy of this art form, the many different ways dance can show expression, storytelling and emotion. Dance is truly a beautiful art form in any language," says Ellis.

Starting in 1984, Fancy Dancers Incorporated set out to become a community based pre-professional dance company. The mission of Fancy Dancers is to provide education, training, and empowerment to today's young adults through professional level dance training.

For dancers from 10 to 22 years old, instructors concentrate on physical fitness, self-confidence, self-discipline, goal setting, and community involvement. The youth and young adult dancers also learn and develop an appreciation for the unique American dance forms of tap, jazz, and modern dance.

Ellis adds, "Many of the Fancy Dance Incorporated instructors teach dance while in high school and college. A majority of the instructors have also gone on to become professional school teachers." Along with being a competitive dance team, the girls in the group are committed to community service as well as the environment around them.

The Tap Celebration event first began in 2010, sponsored by the City of Milpitas.

For more information about Fancy Dancers, upcoming performance events or an audition to join, visit http://www.fancydancers.org.


Tap Celebration
Saturday, Mar 17
11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Milpitas Library
160 North Main Street, Milpitas
(408) 262-1171
http://www.fancydancers.org

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