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Tap in the US: An Assessment of the Field

by Suzanne Callahan with Brooke Belott and Jane Jerardi
June 2006
Commissioned by the International Tap Association (ITA)
Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts

This study of the national tap field assisted in setting goals and making decisions for the future. Research included artists and grassroots tap festivals as well as the broader US dance field – presenters, agents, service organization leaders, and funders. The planning process focused on the tap field overall, rather than the ITA, which commissioned the study, or any one organization.

Despite increased activity, primarily through tap festivals and studios, the tap field lacks a solid infrastructure of support. A comprehensive planning process had never before been undertaken for the entire field. The planning process was led by a national steering committee and facilitated by the ITA.

The documents below state the purpose of and methodology for the study, followed by the findings from the extensive research that was conducted, including:

  • the reach and impact of tap artists and grassroots tap festivals
  • these artists’ and organizations’ perceived challenges and accomplishments
  • feedback from leaders in the dance field and their ideas for increasing bookings and support for tap as well as raising visibility for the art form
  • the growth of tap over the last 10 years
  • recommendations for building infrastructure for the tap field, improving the public awareness of tap, and advocating for the form
  • the names of the advisors, steering committee members, and artists who participated

Executive Summary (514 KB PDF)
Final Report (1.9 MB PDF)