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Spring Guest Workshops: Deborah Mitchell, Karen Callaway Williams

  • Sound Space Performing Arts 2511 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA, 19130 United States (map)

The Philadelphia Community Tap Project presents a special afternoon of master tap dance instruction from two of the leaders in the field: Deborah Mitchell and Karen Callaway Williams. Both classes will be ninety minutes, will be taught at an intermediate level and will have live accompaniment. All are welcome.

Classes are $15 each. Registration is first-come, first-served. No dancer is turned away for lack of funds. Buying online is highly suggested, (click on link to pay), or you can stop by the studio and pay in person.

This program is made possible by our sponsors and through a grant from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.

Master class with Deborah: 12:30-2 pm

Master class with Karen: 2-3:30 pm

About Deborah Mitchell: Deborah Mitchell is Founder and Artistic Director of New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble. This award winning choreographer, dancer and director has been the driving force behind one of the most celebrated dance companies in the state of NJ for more than 20 years. She is recipient of some of tap dancing’s most prestigious awards including the 2012 Living Legend Award, Flint, MI; Lifetime Achievement Flo-Bert Award 2007, NY; The Hoofer Award, 2007 NY; The Living Treasure Award 2007, Oklahoma City University; Savion Glover Award 2006 and she is one of the subjects in the 2010 new publication, Tap Dancing America by Constance Valis Hill. Protégé of Leslie “Bubba” Gaines of the Copasetics and student of many tap masters including Broadway Choreographer Henry LeTang. Her many credits include The Cotton Club Motion Picture, Tony-Award Winning Broadway Production and Paris Production of Black and Blue, PBS Great Performances of Black and Blue, 5 tours with the legendary Cab Calloway, and a partnership with Philadelphia native Germaine Goodson as The Rhythm Queens. She was guest artist, master teacher and speaker at 2008 UCLA’s 1st Conference on Women in Tap and is a 2nd Generation Silver Belle, honoring the dancing divas of Harlem’s Golden Age, subject of Award Winning Documentary, Been Rich All My Life. She is author, director and choreographer of Arts Education musicals the Doll Shop, and Generation Tap. She serves as an advisory Board Member of Tap City in NY and Assistant Director/Choreographer for Theater Workshop/Peppermint Players, Marie Foster in Newark, NJ.  

About Karen Callaway Williams: Trained in the Tommy Sutton notation system of tap dance at Spellman College, she enrolled in the Certificate Program of the Alvin Ailey School of American Dance. There, she met, in rehearsal, the cast of Black and Blue. Schooled at the "University of La Cave" with Jimmy Slyde, she joined Mercedes Ellington's DanceEllington in 1989, where she worked with the Duke Ellington Orchestra under the direction of Mercer Ellington and, later, Paul Ellington. She performed in the The Majesty of Tap (1992) with tap legends Bunny Briggs, Jimmy Slyde, Chuck Green, and Lon Chaney and made her debut on Broadway in 1998 in the "Trading Taps" tap challenge scene in Riverdance--The Musical. Callaway has authored the children's book Gabriella's Tap Shoes; has served as Dance Captain and as Assistant to the Director Deborah Mitchell of the New Jersey Tap Ensemble; and has appeared in the documentary film on the legendary Silver Belles, Been Rich All My Life (2006), in which these senior dancing women proclaimed her to be following the legacy of black chorus-line dancers of the 1930s.