Tappin’ In is a co-created mass participation tap dancing and storytelling extravaganza. Celebrating the stories of the West Midlands and the people who call it home, Tappin’ In is bringing people together to tap dance and chat about themselves, whilst having a good time. Tappin' In is part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival and Birmingham International Dance Festival.
130 people from Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke, Rugby, Cannock, Chelmsley Wood, Tamworth and Telford came together during spring 2022 to learn to tap dance, whilst also listening to each other’s stories
Every week, each group spent an hour tap-dancing with their dance captain, before settling down for an hour of creative activity along with a good chat over tea and biscuits.
Get a flavour of the Tappin' In classes with this video from our Chelmsley Wood tappers:
Half way through the project, each group hosted a Sharing session in their local area for friends and family, where they showed just how much they had learnt in such a short time.
Our tappers were mostly complete beginners, of different ages and abilities, who put nervousness and self-doubt aside as they learnt enough tap to be able to put on a major live performance in the centre of Birmingham.
The live show
On 18 June we all came together in Brindleyplace, Birmingham, for a live extravaganza of tap dance, including a mass ‘shim sham’, the dance known as the national anthem of tap. Everyone was invited to join us for this joyful day of performance and dance! Find out how we got on!
Working in collaboration with DanceXchange (dx), we supported two early career artists, Sydneé Thompson and Natalie Haslam, to explore how tap might align with their current practice. As part of our large-scale outdoor event and Birmingham International Dance Festival in June 2022, Sydneé and Natalie shared with us their work-in-progress.
Following on from our weekly workshops and Brindleyplace extravaganza, the Tappin' In groups have been offered the chance to continue to meet for extra sessions during summer 2022, to keep exploring tap or to try some different dance styles. Now our groups are established and people have made some great friends we want to make it possible for them to continue to dance together. We are offering further training on fundraising and company formation, so hopefully the groups can become self sufficient and keep the Tappin' In journey going beyond 2022.
Tappin' In is produced by Stephanie Ridings in association with Lou Lomas, helped along by an experienced creative team of dance artists. Meet the team!
Tappin' In is proud to be part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival and Birmingham International Dance Festival.
We are grateful to be working with a network of partners across the West Midlands, including DanceXchange, Canal & River Trust, Crisis Birmingham, Inspiring Healthy Lifestyle Cannock, Restoke, Culture@Solihull, Tamworth Arts & Events, Telford & Wrekin Cooperative Council, Rugby Borough Council and Brindleyplace. Read more about our partners.