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Bruno Walter Auditorium, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center
111 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023
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“A Celebration of The American Tap Dance Foundation” will include the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Tony Waag, ATDF Founding Artistic/Executive Director, for his 24 years of service, leadership, and inspiration to the tap community. Directed by four-time Tony Award nominee Randy Skinner, this special event will include live performance, speeches, and a screening of archival footage reflecting on the history of the Foundation. The lineup includes actor Bill Irwin and top tappers Chloe Arnold and Michelle Dorrance; a presentation of “Just in Time,” restaged and choreographed by Tony Waag; “Taking a Chance on Love,” performed by Brenda Bufalino & Tony Waag, choreographed by Charles “Honi” Coles and Brenda Bufalino; and a performance by “Tap & Tray,” with dancers Kurt Albert & Klaus Bleis from Germany. Lynn Schwab, Karen Callaway Williams, Jenai Cutcher, Ivan Owens, Adante Power and Felipe Galganni – ATDF staff, teachers, and ATDF Artists in Residence – round out the performance cast. This event is FREE and open to the public. Registration is advised.

Speeches will be given by Lynn Dally (Director of Jazz Tap Ensemble), Barbara Duffy & Margaret Morrison (American Tap Dance Orchestra Alumni); Terry Brock (Portland Dancer/Teacher & Recent Hoofer Award Recipient), Deborah Mitchell (Director of New Jersey Tap Ensemble), Acia Gray (Artistic Director Soul to Sole Tap Festival – Austin, Texas), Hoagy B. Carmichael (son of the legendary composer and former member of ATDF Board), and Mercedes Ellington (Artistic Director of Duke Ellington Center for the Arts). Video greetings will be broadcast from Brazil, as well as special notes from dancers DeWitt Fleming, Dario Natarelli, Caleb Teicher, Max Pollak, and Demi Remick.

“A Celebration of The American Tap Dance Foundation” will include a live jazz band, with Jess Jurkovic (Piano), Joe Fonda (Bass), Lou Grassi (Drums) and Charles Tokarz (Reeds).

After decades of sharing the joy of tap dance, the Board of the American Tap Dance Foundation (ATDF) and its leadership announced on March 4 the closing of The American Tap Dance Center, located at 154 Christopher Street in New York City, effective June 30. Also announced was the downsizing of the ATDF non-profit organization (which will retain its 501c3 status as a nonprofit organization to produce projects and programs in the future) and the cancellation of Tap City, the annual New York City Tap Festival, which would have celebrated its 24th year. The Library of the Performing Arts tribute event on July 11 will honor the ATDF legacy.

The American Tap Dance Center opened in 2009, offering year-round tap training and rehearsal space. ATDF is proud that it has supported tap dancers of all ages and instilled the love of tap dance in so many. Each year approximately 500 students have enjoyed tap classes at the center, providing employment for approximately 60 teachers and staff. ATDF’s programming has provided performance opportunities for over 75 tap dancers, musicians, and technicians annually.

“Running ATDF and its home the American Tap Dance Center for 14 years was a huge part of my life as a director, producer and of course a tap dancer,” said Mr. Waag. “I can’t thank my staff, my board, our funders, our teachers, our students, our artists in residence, and of course my mentor Brenda Bufalino enough for supporting me and my efforts for 24 years now. I look forward to future projects that are already in the making,” he said.

“NYC Tap Dance Central,” a new company with the goal of continuing the Youth and Adult educational programs offered by ATDF, has been created by Susan Hebach, longtime ATDF staff member and Director of the ATDF Youth Program and Tap City Youth Ensemble. Programming will begin in September 2024 at the Tap Dance Center’s current space, 154 Christopher Street #2B, New York, NY 10014. “NYC Tap Dance Central” will include a dedicated tap dance space for tap artists. For more information, visit or email Ms. Hebach at

The ATDF Board would like to thank all the generous support provided over the years from individual donors as well as larger grants provided from: New York Community Trust, New York Department of Cultural Affairs, Howard Gilman Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, the David Kellogg Family Foundation, Jerome Robbins Foundation, the Tsunami Foundation – Anson and Debra Beard, Jr. and Family, as well as all of the students, staff, artists and audience members for sharing their love of tap dance.

The American Tap Dance Orchestra that was created in 1986 by Brenda Bufalino, Tony Waag and the late Charles “Honi” Coles, was renamed the American Tap Dance Foundation in 2001, under the leadership of Tony Waag. The vision was to create a home for all tap dancers in New York City with a mission to honor, preserve and promote tap dance.

For 24 years the American Tap Dance Foundation has served as a steward of tap history, providing training to dancers of all ages, and playing a major role in fostering emerging tap talent. ATDF has curated and produced innovative tap programming, including showcasing new choreography from their successful “Artists in Residence” Program. In its long history of contributions to the tap community, ATDF built a reputation as both a service organization known for its numerous educational programs and public events, and as a presenter of highly diverse concert performances which have launched the careers of numerous leading tap artists and choreographers in the field today.

ATDF consistently collected, documented, and preserved an extensive archive of tap dance history. In 2019, Tony Waag donated the Foundation’s tap dance archive to the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

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