On February 8, 2008 female tap dancers from all over the country convened in Los Angeles at UCLA for the first national Women in Tap conference. This historic and powerful event was produced and orchestrated by Lynn Dally, artistic director of the Jazz Tap Ensemble and her assistant Gayle Hooks.
The keynote address entitled, “Can You Hear Us Now?” was presented by Sali Ann Kriegsman, a tireless advocate, writer and champion for the field of tap. In June 2009 at the Dance/USA Annual Conference she received the “Ernie” Award for dance, which recognizes and honors her work for the national dance community. We thank her for granting us permission to include her inspiring speech.
Women have been IN tap since at least the early days of the last century and likely earlier … When I say “Women in Tap,” I mean in every possible way: as dancers and choreographers, as teachers and mentors, producers and presenters, writers and critics, scholars and historians, preservationists, documentary makers, photographers, publicists, agents, organizers, managers, company founders and directors, grant writers, funders, supporters, advocates — and let us not forget, as mothers, daughters, sisters, spouses, partners and caregivers. Often one woman may in fact be and do all of these things in her lifetime. We’re talking about multi-tasking BIG time …
Click here to read the text of Kriegsman’s speech.