On Tap Dances to a Bigger Beat

Rhythm and boom will stake their claim on Page Auditorium this Sunday, as On Tap, Duke's resident tap-dancing troupe, hosts its annual spring concert in the largest performance space on campus.

That's a long way from the Epworth balcony, where seniors Bryan Edwards, Lauren Vose and Recess vision editor Beth Iams used to "perform" before dinner at the Marketplace. Almost four years ago, Edwards and his visionary cohorts brought a bounty of dance talent to a campus missing a beat. In a semester's time, they created an outlet for their energy, and their artistic support group has grown ever since.

Nonetheless, On Tap's success has surpassed even its founders' expectations. "I'd never have imagined that four years later we'd be dancing before a full house in Page," said Vose.

Today, On Tap enjoys 18 committed members, and the dancers--who perform a thump-driven "rhythmic" tap--have prepared an evening's worth of entertainment. On Tap's 17-dance performance will also feature fellow foot-thumpers Dance Slam, Dance Black and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity's step team.

On Tap has high hopes for its large-scale production, which was held last year in Baldwin Auditorium. But sophomore Jessica Vodofsky considers the ambitious move entirely appropriate. "We have grown significantly since we were founded and have made huge advances in the quantity and quality of our dances," she said.

But On Tap's quest for artistic fulfillment doesn't stop at the studio door. Sunday's performance will communicate another of the group's objectives, which Vodofsky makes all too clear: "We want our presence at Duke to be known."

With the venue and the spectacle prepared, On Tap stands ready to make that wish a reality.


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