The Brooklyn School of Languages Taps!
By: Christopher Erk
In October of last year, a good friend from high school, Dennis Chase, contacted me about speaking with students from the Brooklyn School of Languages during their Broadway-themed week.
The Brooklyn School of Languages works with adult learners from all over the world and offers them classes in English as well as exposure to the rich resources of knowledge and culture that New York City has to offer.
I didn’t think twice about participating and was incredibly excited to meet these students! For The Tap Factor, it was a great opportunity to engage with a body and organization that was less likely to be exposed to tap dancing in the way that we like to present it. We find that everyone has an inner-tap-dancer and we aim to expose that resonance with whom we cross paths.
When I proposed to Dennis that I not only talk about my career as a dancer, but end the talk with a tap dance workshop, he was all for it!
The idea was that we would teach the students The Tap Factor way: They would be introduced to tap dancing basics and then learn how to make their own music - improvise - within moments after learning their first steps. This would provide an excellent forum for communication and discovery without using words.
It was amazing to introduce tap dance to the students using this method- no words, just sounds- especially where languages are vastly diverse and can create a barrier. I was very proud of the students’ willingness to participate and step outside of their comfort zone to try something new.
Tap dancing in the lobby of Brooklyn School of Languages!
To learn more of the experience, see Dennis Chases' contributed statement further down the blog!