About Sound Space

In 2015, Philadelphia tap dancer, Pamela Hetherington, decided to open a studio space for percussive dance, after many, many years of trying to find studio spaces in Philadelphia that 1) permitted tap shoes, 2) had proper hardwood floors. You would think that these two things would not be hard to find in a major metropolitan city like Philadelphia, but until Sound Space was built, percussive dancers were relegated to Marley (rubber) surfaces or, they were often shut out of studios entirely, due to a prevailing opinion that tap shoes ruin floors.

A Philadelphia native, a dancer, and a dance educator, for decades, Pam also wanted to create a space for the kind of dance training that she felt was missing: grounded in a deep understanding of music and rhythm, driven by a knowledge of world dance traditions and American history, and committed to growing and encouraging the next generation of dance artists.

The first iteration of Sound Space Performing Arts opened in September 2015 at 1525 North Bailey Street, in a 600-square foot converted warehouse space that used to be a busy Philadelphia dairy. Although everyone loved the sprung maple floor at 1525 North Bailey, the space and location proved too small for the bigger dreams that Pam had for Sound Space.

In August 2016, Sound Space began the first steps towards its move to 2511 West Girard Avenue, and we finally opened the doors to the current studio space on March 3, 2017.

The space, the programming and the vision continues to grow. In September of 2019, Sound Space will expand even further to take over the whole second floor at 2511 West Girard Avenue. That means TWO hardwood floors, much more space and more programming for kids and adults.

To read more about the history of the studio, check out The Story of Sound Space on Pam’s blog.

 About the Director

Pamela Hetherington is a Philadelphia tap dancer. Her artistic work aims to expand the boundaries of jazz tap, both as a soloist, a choreographer, and a composer. She was a principle dancer with Tap Team Two & Company, under the direction of Robert F. Burden, Jr., from 1996-2011, during which time she performed widely in major theaters all over the East Coast. Those experiences led her to create and produce dozens of tap dance and live music events in Philadelphia. In 2014, she created Take It Away Dance, a tap dance and live music company has been presented consistently in Philadelphia and New York for the last five years. Her work has been presented by Jazz Bridge, Philadelphia Jazz Project, Creative Philadelphia, The Barnes Foundation, Allentown Art Museum, Dixon Place, and Symphony Space. Her work also moves fluidly into music writing and recording: she has an original jazz composition published in the Philadelphia Real Book (2018) and is a featured recording artist on “The Whitman Project” mixtape (2019), published by The Philadelphia Jazz Project. Pam has been interviewed about her work on Articulate (WHYY) and The Arts Desk (WRTI), and she was recognized in The Philadelphia Inquirer and Dance Teacher Magazine for her work with The Philadelphia Community Tap Project.

Besides her own creative work, dance education has been a part of her life since she was 18 years old. For the past twenty-one years, she has honed her craft at countless studios, recreation centers, camps, after school programs, universities, elementary schools, and secondary schools. She is a passionate teacher and also a forward-thinking pioneer of the dance field. Sound Space Performing Arts is an outgrowth of her dance education experiences and fills a need for a dance environment where children are encouraged to grow as thinking, creative, innovative artists. For more info, please visit www.pamelahetherington.net.