ATDF's 2017 Tap Awards to Honor Ayodele Casel and More This July

By: Jun. 19, 2017

The American Tap Dance Foundation (ATDF) Tony Waag, Executive/Artistic director, announced today the recipients of the 2017 "TAP AWARDS" to be presented at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, 7pm on Wednesday, July 12.

The ATDF "TAP AWARDS" are a featured event of Tap City, The New York City Tap Festival, returning to New York July 8-15 for its 17th consecutive year.

The 2017 "TAP AWARDS" will honor The Jerome Robbins Dance Division of The New York Public Library for tap dance preservation; Ayodele Casel & Sam Weber with the ATDF "Hoofer Award;" and Duke Ellington and The Cotton Club Girls and Boys inauguration into the Foundation's Tap Dance Hall of Fame.

Hosted by Tony Waag, the ATDF Tap Awards will also feature rarely seen video footage from The Jerome Robbins Dance Division of The New York Public Library, and surprise tribute performances. Jess Jurkovic will accompany on piano, Joe Fonda on bass, and Josh Davis on drums.

TAP PRESERVATION AWARD - The Jerome Robbins Dance Division of The New York Public Library will receive the 2017 ATDF Tap Preservation Award for their work in cataloging, restoring and preserving the art of tap dance. The donation of the ATDF archives, the archives of ATDF Executive Director Tony Waag, and the personal archives of tap dance doyenne Brenda Bufalino, in honor of her 80th birthday, will this year expand The Library's collection. The ATDF Tap Preservation Award is given yearly to an outstanding individual or organization in the field for the superior advancement of tap dance through presentation and preservation.

To celebrate, The Jerome Robbins Division of The New York Public Library will present screenings of tap films over four consecutive Mondays in July, starting on July 10 in the Third Floor Screening Room at 6pm. Films to include The Tap Dance Kid (1978) and the documentary Great Feats of Feet.

HOOFER AWARD - Ayodele Casel and Sam Weber will receive this year's HOOFER AWARD in recognition of their unique contribution to the art form, and for inspiring future generations of tap dancers.

THE TAP DANCE HALL OF FAME - Duke Ellington and The Cotton Club Girls and Boys will inaugurated into the American Tap Dance Foundation's Tap Dance Hall of Fame. Duke Ellington composed a number of songs specifically for tap dancers, and many of America's greatest tap dancers worked with Duke Ellington. His unique legacy of introducing, promoting and presenting tap dancers to audiences all over the world will be recognized. The Hall of Fame Award serves a diverse retrospective of America's seminal tap dance personalities.

On Friday, July 14 at 7PM "TAP ELLINGTON" AT JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER, presented in association with Mercedes Ellington, will include performances by Brenda Bufalino, Ayodele Casel, Mercedes Ellington, Lisa La Touche Ensemble, Caleb Teicher, Sarah Reich, Sam Weber, Josette and Joseph Wiggan, the New American Tap Orchestra and more. Duke Ellington Center's Big Band, conducted by Eli Yamin, will accompany the artists. Visit for more information.


Friday, July 12 at 7pm
Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre, Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th Street
Tickets: General $15

Presented by The American Tap Dance Foundation, the Tap City week will include the Tap Treasures Tour (July 10, 2-8pm), Tap Awards (July 12, 7pm) and "Tap Ellington" (July 14, 7pm). Tap City draws participants from around the world. The Festival offers expansive adult, pre-professional and youth training programs with internationally renowned teachers and numerous diverse premiere performances & citywide events.

Photo Credit: Joshua Albanese


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