The Tap Factor - Dayton Early College Academy

"It was amazing to see the transformation over the course of our three meetings. From one day to the next, increased confidence and strong peer support allowed for a safe space for self-expression. They trusted and encouraged each other towards success which brought them confidence in front of their live audience on our final day. I was left proud and inspired."
Founding Artistic Director - Christopher Erk

"They rocked the house, delighting everyone in attendance and learning a huge lesson about the joy of collaboration, creativity, open-mindedness, individual courage, human kindness, and the significance of authentic social connections."
Director of Community Involvement - Anne Rasmussen

After a short discussion and proposal, Christopher Erk and good friend Anne Rasmussen got the green light to move ahead with a program at Dayton Early College Academy (DECA). After getting a group of interested students together, as well as a teacher to help facilitate, the experience was under way. Over the course of a week, the group met three times, each for an hour and a half.

Students worked together to build tap dance practice boards and learn basic tap dance steps. Before long, they were tap dancing and improvising freely. 

Soon everyone started developing a voice with their feet and began using it to communicate with each other. Students also led their peers in group exercises to help sharpen their skills. 

In order to give the students a chance to share what they had learned, Shane Anderson, owner of Ghostlight Coffee, welcomed the Tap Factor to present at his shop. Here the group danced individually and as a team. They also shared personal accounts of what they had experienced throughout the program. Some of the students closed the presentation by facing off with one another in a conversation with their feet.

Photos by Sarah Babcock