Get your feet tapping

Get set for Birmingham’s biggest tap dance!

Get set for the city’s biggest tap dancing event, taking place in Brindleyplace, Birmingham on Saturday 18th June. Tappin’ In, a project by Stephanie Ridings in association with Lou Lomas, is presented by Birmingham 2022 Festival and part of Birmingham International Dance Festival.

At this special event, the Tappin’ In dancers will present a joyful live performance, hosted by TV and Radio favourite, Christopher Green. The free event starts at 2pm with the participants’ performance at 3pm followed by a mass tap lesson at 3.45pm ahead of the large-scale shim sham moment.

130 people from Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke, Rugby, Cannock Chase, Chelmsley Wood, Tamworth and Telford have been learning to tap dance – with one hourly session each week for twelve weeks – whilst also listening to each other’s stories and experiences.

In this finale event all the 130 budding tap dancers come together in the heart of Birmingham for an afternoon in celebration of the joy of dance, supported by a team of professional performers, choreographers, music directors and set designers.
Then everyone is invited to join in as Tappin’ In attempts the city’s biggest tap lesson and Shim Sham, known as the national anthem of tap.

Stephanie Ridings, Artistic Director for Tappin’ In said: “It’s been wonderful spending time with each of the groups and seeing them begin their tap journey. The groups are made of all abilities with many giving tap a go for the first time so to see their new skills develop has felt like a real honour, as well as seeing the value of coming together to share stories and do something fun.

“We look forward to our finale moment when everyone can join in with us for a mass tap lesson and shim sham – the biggest the city will have ever seen! And you don’t need experience – although you can watch and learn from our online tutorials, with options for all abilities including seated and body percussion options, hopefully we will see you there.”

One community participant from Cannock, Shane, commented “Tap dancing has changed my life,” whilst Ali from Coventry added, “When you’re doing tap you forget about everything else. Any problems, issues in your mind all go out the window.”

Danielle Marshall, Producer Creative Participation, Birmingham 2022 Festival said: “Birmingham 2022 Festival literally gets into the swing of things for summer with this mass participation, tap extravaganza. And this is just day two of BIDF with so many more highlights to come. There’s still time to learn online and be part of this and, as joyful as performing will be, we also encourage everyone who wants to watch from the sidelines to come along too – it’s going to be a real spectacle.”

There is still time to learn the Shim Sham at home in easy-to-follow videos here and be ready to join in on the day. Post your dances on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #TappinIn – and be sure to follow us to look out for updates!

Find out more here.

Pics – Adrian Moore