Heather Cornell Masterclasses 25 & 26 May 2019 - Celebrating International Tap Dance Day


Heather Cornell Masterclasses 25 & 26 May 2019 - Celebrating International Tap Dance Day


In celebration of International Tap Dance Day, London Tap Jam is excited to present masterclasses with New York’s deeply musical master of tap dance Heather Cornell. Heather has a unique approach to tap dancing and teaching which is closely connected with the music. This is a great opportunity to work on musicality and to learn to approach tap dance as a musical instrument. Heather is known for igniting rather than extinguishing the artistic voice in each student. Get ready to dance, to listen and to play some music. 

Heather will be presenting a programme of classes and we are excited to announce for the first time a lecture over the weekend of the May London Tap Jam. On Saturday 25th May there will be an int/adv class at Pineapple, followed by a talk on Composing for Tap Dance featuring rare footage from Manhattan Tap (all levels). On Sunday 26th May, Heather will be teaching a musical improvisation class (all levels).

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Class schedule

  • Saturday 25th May, 4-5.30pm - Time Steps of the Masters (intermediate/advanced)

  • Saturday 25th May, 5.30-7pm - Composing for Tap Dance (lecture - all levels)

  • Sunday 26th May, 3-4.30pm - Musical Improvisation (all levels)

All classes will be in Studio 6 at Pineapple Dance Studios. Special advance booking price of £20 until Sat 18th May.

About the classes

Time Steps of the Masters

Int/Adv, Sat 25th May, 4-5.30pm, Pineapple Studio 6

Heather studied and performed with many of the legendary tap dance masters. They each had their own distinct styles and musicality.  Come and learn some of these iconic steps and the keys that they hold to the groove, time and approach of each master.

Composing for Tap Dance

Lecture, Sat 25th May, 5.30-7pm, Pineapple Studio 6

A lecture featuring rarely seen archive footage from Manhattan Tap.

“Tap dance is composed and it is choreographed. No matter how you look at it, we are on double duty, composing our sounds while creating and integrating our movement.” - Heather Cornell

Heather was not only mentored by the legendary jazz musician Ray Brown, but also collaborated and performed with him many times as the artistic director of Manhattan Tap. Heather called her time working with Ray Brown her “PhD in music”. In this lecture Heather will share with you her experiences working with the great musician and what she learnt.

Musical Improvisation

Sunday 26th May, 3-4.30pm, Pineapple Studio 6

Heather’s approach to tap dance is deeply musical. The list of Heather's musical collaborators are endless. In this class you’ll focus on approaching tap dance as a musical instrument. You’ll learn to nurture improvisation as a common practice and to ignite rather than extinguish the artistic voice in each student. Get ready to dance, to listen and to play some music.

"I've had the good fortune of working with, and being guided by this woman a few times over the years. To put it simply, Heather Cornell will change you as a dancer" - Travis Knights, Toronto, Canada

About Heather Cornell

"The Oscar Peterson of Hoofin" - Toronto Globemail

Heather is one of the world’s most innovative and creative tap artists known for her deeply musical approach to art form of tap dance. Heather apprenticed to many of the legendary tap dance masters including Eddie Brown, Chuck Green, Buster Brown, Charlies “Cookie” Cook and Steve Condos.

As the artistic director of one of the most successful tap dance companies in the world, Heather Cornell was one of the leading figures in the tap renaissance in NYC in the 80s and 90s, pioneering concert tap and leading the scene in working with world music. Mentored by the jazz icon bassist Ray Brown, she is known for her collaboration with world class musicians. Heather is acclaimed for her intensives or tap labs, which she has been teaching since 1989, through which she has pioneered a unique way of teaching, closely connected to the music and involving co-teaching with musicians.

Her recent project, Making Music Dance, celebrates the rich and broad tonalities inherent in the worlds of tap and flamenco. Add to that the trance-like drive of African balafon, the ethereal phrasing of electric violin and the percussive stylings of flamenco guitar, and you get a brand new take on world music! The show is elegant, intense and trancelike all at once. “Pulsating world rhythm – percussive dance in an entirely new context”.

Read more at http://www.manhattantap.org/