The best year ever

2016:

Our year of tap dance and live music in Philadelphia

This year, Take It Away Dance was given so many incredible opportunities to bring tap dance and live music to all different corners of Philadelphia and also, beyond! Take It Away Dance is the sound of Philadelphia.

Our tour started in March with a performance at Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange and then Fringearts, (thank you, Alex Pobiedzinski and Sarah Bishop-Stone).

In April, we moved a few blocks west and for two hours, we took over one of the most iconic landmarks in Philadelphia, the Reading Terminal Market. What an amazing thrill. (Thank you, Ann Mintz).

In May, we touched down on South Philadelphia's Passyunk Square with live drumming and street hoofin' trades for National Tap Dance Day, (thank you, Passyunk Square Civic Association).

In June, we headed into Germantown and presented our annual concert of new tap and music works at the best music venue in Philadelphia, Rittenhouse Soundworks. (Never enough thanks for Jim Hamilton).

In August, I got to realize a long-time dream when Take It Away Dance took over the courtyard stage at City Hall. Having imagined this show and what I might do, since I was a teenager, I was ready to bring the fire with an all-Philly playlist, including selections by Grover Washington Jr., Boyz II Men and The Roots. (Thank you, OACCE and Pam Yau).

In November, we performed at the Koresh Artist Showcase in Rittenhouse Square (thank you, Roni).

Finally, last week, Dena Underwood and I staked out Fairmount Park with a keyboard, a tap board, and our love of swing for Neighbor's Day and A Very Philly Christmas (thank you, Martha Moffitt and Ed Miller).

Thank you to my dancers, who take a big leap with me every time we step on stage and always go for broke: Rosie Marinelli, Lauren O'Shea, and Robin Passmore.

Thank you to all of the musicians who worked with me this year and who get the connection between tap dance and music: Josh Machiz, Eric Coyne, Russ Kotcher, Jason Long, Nick Krolak, Rob Henderson, LaTreice Branson, Adam Faulk, Nimrod Speaks and Chary Shaheed, Tim Brey, Madison Rast, Anwar Marshall and Lee Mo, and last but not least, Dena Underwood.