Renowned Tap Dancer Collaborates with High School to Bring Tap and Live Music Home

The Ridge High School Dance Department and Basking Ridge Native turned international tap dance phenomenon Hillary-Marie Atkinson come together to present the world-premiere of VIBE in Basking Ridge, NJ on March 5, 2017.

A full-length show by NYC Dance Company, Sole Music Collective, VIBE will feature four top tap dance professionals, live musical accompaniment and original choreography by Hillary-Marie Atkinson (Ridge High School alumni) under the musical direction of Andrew Atkinson. VIBE is a celebration of music and tap dance as a universal energy and language of the world as dancers and musicians flow in and out of choreography and improvisation, exposing the true nature of percussive dance as a form of storytelling packed with texture, movement, sound and the familiar roller coaster ride of life's emotions.

"As a student at Ridge High School, I received a well-rounded, supportive, diverse and encouraging arts education that gave me the foundation I needed to thrive and grow as an adult artist," says director and choreographer Hillary-Marie Atkinson. "After years of international performances, I've had the strongest itch to come home and share my passion for music and tap dance with my hometown community. By premiering VIBE in my hometown, I hope to show support for their amazing arts education program so that it can continue to be funded and supported by the town."

"Collaboration and interdisciplinary opportunities are programmatic goals for the Ridge Dance Department," says Ridge High School Dance Department Rachel Miranda. "VIBE will provide such opportunities for the school's Dance and Music departments while giving our students the opportunity to share the stage with and learn from top-notch professional dancers and musicians. This show is a testament to the importance of dance education and its ability to bring various performing arts together as well as a wonderful opportunity for the dance students to see the incredible success of a Ridge alumni like Hillary-Marie, as she pursues and maintains her career in the field of dance." This exciting premier will be held March 5, 2017 at 3:00pm at the Ridge Performance Arts Center and will feature four prominent tap dance artists, Hillary-Marie Atkinson (Jersey Tap Fest, NJTAP, Cotton Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center), Joseph C. Wiggan (Shuffle Along, Cirque du Soleil), Liberty Styles (Billboard) and Charles Renato (Tap en Rio).

The Ridge High School Dance Department students will open the show with a piece choreographed by Jeff Foote (NJTAP) and musical accompaniment provided by the Ridge High School Jazz Band and there will be a free public outreach tap dance class offered the day of the show taught by Karen Callaway Williams (NJTAP, Riverdance, Play On!) for ages ten and up. This feel-good, family-friendly, powerhouse percussive dance performance is guaranteed to bring audience members to their feet!

VIBE director and choreographer HILLARY-MARIE is one of the most accomplished tap dance artists and producers in America. She is an internationally acclaimed soloist and ensemble member and at age 17 founded Jersey Tap Fest, New Jersey's sole dance festival featuring world-class tap faculty and extravaganza. In addition to Jersey Tap Fest, she is also the artistic director of FutureSTEP Tap Company, Sole Music Collective and Grooves Unlimited Dance Studio. Hillary-Marie's dancing has been described as 'like feathers with steel bones' due to her combination of strength and grace. She has also been called 'a brilliant artist'. A native of New Jersey currently based in NYC, Hillary-Marie has been recognized by and featured in the New York Times, Star Ledger, Dance Studio Life Magazine, Dance Spirit Magazine and Dance Teacher Magazine. She has performed on The Colbert Report and has appeared at the Smithsonian, Apollo Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Highline Ballroom, The Copacabana, NJ State Theater, NJPAC, SOPAC, and Symphony Space among many other prestigious venues along the American east coast.

Hillary-Marie's Sole Music Collective is percussive dance as its finest - music for the soul created by the soles of the feet. Celebrating the diverse contributions of two thriving American art forms, Tap Dance and Jazz Music, the Sole Music Collective gives a visual to the rhythm we hear and a voice to the dance that we see by approaching tap dance as a musical instrument and visual performance art with live music collaborations and a strong improvisation presence to culminate in the ultimate form of storytelling. Sole Music Collective is home to the Herspective video series, Soul Walk The Show, VIBE and the #GetInClass Scholarship fund.

VIBE Ticket and Venue Information

Tickets are available for purchase at or by calling 973-932-0561, ticket price $20.

Tickets will also be available for purchase prior to the show at the Ridge Performing Arts Center in the lobby.

The venue is located at Ridge High School, 268 S. Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge NJ 07920.

Public Outreach Tap Dance Class Information

March 5, 2017 1:30pm

Location: Ridge High School Dance Studio

This class is free and open to the public, pre-register is required. Email to pre-register.

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