Tap Day Events

6th Annual Tap Day Celebration

Classes – Concerts – Community
May 18 – 19, 2024

In partnership with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, we bring together over 100 Tap Dancers from across Alberta for an eclectic evening of rhythm and expression, honouring the legacy of Tap Legend, the late Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

The focus of the weekend is to develop a vibrant, inspired, and inclusive tap dance community, to create a platform for the creation and presentation of new work, and to advance and celebrate rhythm tap and the percussive arts in Alberta.

Tap Day is a community-oriented event, welcoming rhythmic artists, musicians and spectators of all ages, including classes, workshops, a live music tap jam and two concert performances.

This year’s concert line up features studio submissions, independent artists, and the Tri-Tone Rhythm Ensemble. In addition, we will present an excerpt of, “Paying the Dues,” a new work created by Jordyn Lemire during a residency at DJD. This captivating piece, performed by nine dancers from across the West Coast, explores the themes of perseverance and resilience, both in the context of tap dance and life itself.

Our Live Music Tap Jam features internationally renowned musicians; Kodi Hutchinson on Bass, Raul Gomez Tabera on Drums, and Michelle Grégoire on Piano. Tap Dancers join the band for an evening of swinging Jazz and improvisation!

Tap Day is an internationally recognized event, celebrated across the globe from Tokyo to New York City. It serves as a testament to the enduring popularity and cultural significance of tap dance, bringing together students, professionals, and enthusiasts alike.


May 18 – Classes & Tap Jam
May 19 – Tap Day Community Concert

About Tap Day

A Bill to designate May 25th as National Tap Dance Day was introduced in the House of Representatives in September of 1988 and on November 7, 1989, May 25th was chosen to commemorate the birth of Bill Robinson (May 25, 1878 – November 25, 1949) and his outstanding contribution to the art of tap dancing on both stage and in film through the unification of diverse stylistic and racial elements.

Tap Day Proclamation

Whereas, the multifaceted art form of tap dancing is a manifestation of the
cultural heritage of our Nation, reflecting the fusion of African and European cultures into an exemplification of the American spirit, that should be, through documentation, 
 and archival and performance support, transmitted to succeeding generations;

Whereas, tap dancing has had an historic and continuing influence on other genres of
American art, including music, vaudeville, Broadway musical theater, and film, as well as other dance forms;

Whereas, tap dancing is a joyful and powerful aesthetic force providing a source of enjoyment and an outlet for creativity and self-expression for Americans on both the professional and amateur level;

Whereas, it is in the best interest of the people of our Nation to preserve, promote, and celebrate this uniquely American art form;

Whereas, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson made an outstanding contribution to the art of tap dancing on both stage and film through the unification of diverse stylistic and racial elements; and

Whereas, May 25, as the anniversary of the birth of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson is an appropriate day on which to refocus the attention of the Nation on American tap dancing:

Now therefore, be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that May 25 is designated “National Tap Dance Day.” The President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe such a day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Jordyn Lemire

Originally from Calgary, AB, Jordyn Lemire is a naturally gifted multi-form artist who specializes in tap dance. Upon graduating high school, Jordyn performed with Leah Silva’s Reverb Tap Company at the EMMY Awards Governors Balls in Los Angeles, CA. Leah inspired Jordyn to connect with her local tap community, where she found Tasha Lawson’s Tri-Tone Rhythm Ensemble in Calgary, AB. Jordyn collaborated on ideas for Tri-Tone’s A Kiss in Time concert, learned historical repertoire, and studied with artists Acia Gray, Ryan Foley, Dianne Montgomery, and Dianne Walker. She relocated to Vancouver in 2020 to study in the Vancouver Tap Dance Society’s ‘Tap Artistry’ program. Here she was accepted into School at Jacob’s Pillow’s Tap Dance program, and studied closely with Michelle Dorrance, Derrick Grant, and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards. Jordyn was the recipient of the Grace Inglis Memorial scholarship offered by West Coast Tap in 2022, and was a soloist in their Tap Day concert ‘Time Steps’ the following year. She’s performed in VTDS concerts ‘Isolation/Inspiration’, ‘Outstanding’, ‘Jeffrey Dawson’s suite’, and ‘Artistry’. Last summer, Jordyn traveled with Jeffrey to California to present his work at the Orange County Tap Festival. Jordyn was most recently accepted into the Creative Arts residency program offered by Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, and is in process for building a full-length concert.

Jeffrey Dawson

Jeffrey Dawson is a tap dancer from Vancouver, BC. An alumnus of the Vancouver Tap Dance Society’s youth company TapCo, he has performed on both the local and the international stage. In 2019, he performed in the award-winning show “The Souls of Our Feet” with Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, with Jason Janas’s Co.MMIT at the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, and in Danny Nielsen’s production “On Foot” in Vancouver. Jeffrey is also an alumnus of the 2019 Tap Dance Program at the School of Jacob’s Pillow, where he was given the opportunity to present his own choreography in a concert at the prestigious Ted Shawn Theatre. Jeffrey was commissioned to create a 35-minute set of original choreography for the Vancouver Tap Dance Society’s summer shows in August of 2021 and 2022. Most recently, he was invited to be the Artist-in-Residence at the Orange County Tap Festival, and premiered an original 25-minute work at the festival in July of 2023. Over the past two years, Jeffrey has also established himself within the Vancouver jazz music community, bandleading at prominent jazz venues such as Tyrant Studios, 2nd Floor Gastown, and Frankie’s Jazz Club.

Connor Denison

Connor Denison is an award-winning tap dancer, choreographer and teacher and has had the honor to teach and perform at a multitude of studios, workshops, and festivals across Canada as faculty, guest artist, and choreographer. Growing up as a company member of Calgary’s Tri-Tone Rhythm Ensemble he has had the opportunity to study the history of Tap Dance, learn repertoire of the masters, as well as participate in the development of new contemporary works under the artistic direction of Tasha Lawson. Connor is also a graduate of the Tri-Tone teacher training program.
Highlighted performance credits include touring BC with the cast of “Love.Be.Best.Free” (Danny Nielsen), dancing as a lead in “Caravan” (Derick Grant and Tasha Lawson) and performing in “The Cholly Project” in Vancouver (Travis Knights). Recently Connor was featured in Danny Nielsen’s full-length production “On Foot,” premiering in the fall of 2019. In the fall of 2020 Connor was an understudy in Lisa Latouche’s piece “Fool’s Gold” presented by Fall For Dance and in 2022 he was hired as a lead dancer in Latouche’s production “Phonetically Speaking.”
In the spring of 2019 Connor began producing his own work entitled “Fourteen”. Audiences were later captivated in the summer of 2020 and 2021 in Calgary when Connor was given the opportunity to extend the piece into a half hour set presented by Springboard, receiving rave reviews from industry professionals. Connor is currently developing the set into his first full length show.

Emma Ritchie

Emma Ritchie is a professional rhythm tap dance artist, passionate educator and award winning choreographer. Her training extends into a multiple of disciples including, ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, and hip hop. In 2014, Emma successfully auditioned for the Tri-Tone Rhythm Ensemble, where she spent 8 years deepening her studies in rhythm, history, music, composition and improvisation, under direction of Tasha Lawson. With the ensemble, Emma has trained and performed both locally and abroad including, the Vancouver International Tap Festival, Third Coast Rhythm Project, New York City Tap Festival, Gabriola On Tap, Rhythm Body and Soul Tap Festival, Alberta Feets Festival, and at the Dianne Walker Experience, among others.
In addition, Emma is a graduate of the Luthier School of Music and Dance’s Professional Training Program for Tap Dancers, located in Barcelona, Spain.
Upon returning to Calgary, Emma has been actively educating and choreographing throughout Alberta.  Professional performance credits include, “Play It Forward” and site specific work at the National Music Center with Lawson Percussive Dance Arts, under the direction of Tasha Lawson, “Phonetically Speaking”, with Lisa LaTouche’s, TapPhonics, and “Recapitulation” with Naranja Dance Project (Spain).
Emma’s professional choreography has been presented by Spring Board Dance at Container Park, Dance YYC and at the National Music Center for International Tap Day.
Emma has studied pedagogy and methodologies in the Tri-Tone Teacher Training program and is currently on faculty with the Rhythm Ensemble in Calgary and works closely with Tasha, mentoring young dancers in the development of the Tri-Tone sister company in Red Deer., Emma is dedicated to her craft, and excited to share her knowledge with aspiring young dancers, while continuing to expand and refine her personal artistry.

Tasha Lawson

Tasha Lawson is an established International dance artist with 25 plus years as a vibrant and successful visionary spanning festival producer, educator, choreographer, artistic director and performer.
Ms. Lawson is the founder, producer and artistic director of Calgary’s Tri-Tone Rhythm Ensemble and Rhythm, Body and Soul Tap Festival, with a focus on preserving and promoting tap dance and percussive arts through education and presentation.
Ms. Lawson, is recognized for developing well rounded dancers, providing the foundation needed to pursue a professional career.  Students have been accepted into prestigious schools including Jacob’s Pillow in Massechusettes and Escola Luthier in Barcelona, and performed with acclaimed companies such as STOMP and Dorrance Dance.
Passionate about education, Miss Lawson developed Tri-Tone Teacher Training Program’s in Rhythm Tap and Pre-School Creative Dance, sharing methodologies that integrate technique, musicality, artistry and history while inspiring creativity and self discipline in students.
Tasha toured the US and Japan in 2010-2011, as Assistant Artistic Director of Cirque Du Soleil’s, KOOZA, maintaining show quality and artist integration. She has delivered body percussion workshops for the Cirque casts in Las Vegas, and for the International Body Music Festival’s in San Francisco and Paris.
From 2002-2008,  Tasha performed and toured with Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, Texas, under the direction of Acia Gray. During this time, Tasha also served as Artistic Director of  Tapestry’s apprentice company, Visions In Rhythm, directing the creation of six full-length concert presentations.
Tasha has guested at numerous International Festivals in North America, South America and Europe. She was on faculty at Jacobs Pillow for its  inaugural Professional Tap program and has been artist is residence for Capilano University, University of Texas, Decidedly Jazz Dancework’s PTP Program, Harbour Dance Center, Vancouver’s, ITP Program. She will be teaching for The University of Calgary
Tasha Graduated with advanced standing in Dance Teacher Training and Dance Performance, from Grant MacEwan University,  with a focus on pedagogy in modern, jazz and classical ballet and pre-school creative dance. She later attended the Modern Dance Program at Simon Fraser, then re-located to New York, immersing in rhythm tap and music studies.
In 2022, Tasha premiered Lawson Percussive Dance Arts, a multi-form dance and live music company comprised of Tri-Tone Ensemble Alumni, which premiered at the National Music Center, supported in part by the Calgary Arts Development Authority,
Grateful for the many opportunities afforded to her, she strives to share her experiences and give back to community.  Tasha is currently in her 10th Season as AD with the Tri-Tone Rhythm Ensemble,  sits on the Board of Directors for the Dianne Walker Legacy Foundation, and  will be teaching at the University of Calgary in the Spring of 2024.

Raul Gomez Tabera

A native of Matanzas, Cuba, Raul Gomez Tabera is a percussionist and drummer now based out of Calgary, Alberta. In Cuba, he began his artistic career at the age of 8 years old playing in various companies and groups as well as completing his classical music training at the National Art Schools of Cuba.  He performed with the Matanzas Symphony Orchestra and worked as a professor in the Matanzas School of Music since 1995. As well, he played with famous Tropicana Cabaret Orchestra and was the head adjudicator of all percussion for the Province of Matanzas. He has toured and performed extensively all around the world including Spain, Korea, Mexico, Austria, France, Italy, Nicaragua and Canada.  In 2005, he was invited by Decidedly Jazz Danceworks to play on the cross-Canada Cuban jazz experiment Bulla! as a guest artist with Alberta-based Bomba, with which he returned to Canada to play with in 2006.  Raul is now a sought-after performer, teacher and accompanist across Canada. He is regularly invited to perform of a wide variety of styles namely Latin, Jazz, and Funk, as well including African, Blues and Folk. Raul is highly engaged as accompanist for dance classes around Calgary, including The School of Decidedly Jazz and the University of Calgary, for contemporary, Jazz, West African and Afro Cuban.

Michelle Gregoire

Michelle Gregoire is a versatile and award-winning musician and composer who performs regularly in Calgary and across Canada. With a solid reputation and vast experience in the Canadian jazz landscape, Michelle brings a level of professionalism and experience coupled with extreme musicality to all of her corporate engagements.
An active freelance musician since 1984, Michelle maintains a solid reputation as a solo player, sideperson, and band leader, having performed with artists such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Peter Appleyard, Kenny Wheeler, and others. As well, her original compositions are played regularly on North American jazz programs.
With over 30 years of experience as a first call player and band leader, Michelle has a vast repertoire, and works with top calibre players when putting ensembles together for corporate functions. Regardless of the ensemble size, Michelle and her players provide artistic and balanced performances to enhance your event. You can expect a positive attitude, professional presentation, punctuality, and open communication when you work with Michelle and her players.

Kodi Hutchinson

One of the most active musicians in Western Canada, double bassist Kodi Hutchinson is a man who wears many hats. As well as running his own musical group the Hutchinson Andrew Trio,CKUA radio show “A Time For Jazz”, and record label Chronograph Records, Kodi is a sought after sideman on both double bass and electric bass
Described by those who know him as creative, introspective and just a happy-go-lucky guy, Kodi started his career in jazz while attending the University of Calgary. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce in 1995, but followed his true passion and jumped  into play music full-time shortly thereafter. since those early beginnings, Kodi has established himself as on of the top call bassists in Alberta. He has worked with artists such as P.J. Perry, Lee Konitz, Oliver Jones, Julian Priester, Walt Weiskopf, Karl Schwonik, Dave Restivo, Owen Howard, Hugh Fraser, Paul Tobey, Ingrid Jensen, Denny Christianson, Ross Taggert, Mike Murley, Marc Antoine, Nick Colionne, Beat Kaestli, Bill Anschell, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Theatre Calgary and Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.
Kodi’s wide range of musical tastes have allowed him to tour throughout North America and Europe with such groups such as Karl Schwonik, Clanterra, Destino, Johanna Silanpaa as well as Sillian & Young. The Hutchinson Andrew Trio won the prestigious 2013 TD Grand Jazz Award at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and all three of their albums, ‘Prairie Modern’ (2013), ‘Music Box’ (2008) and ‘Lost but not Together’ (2006) were nominated for the Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Jazz Recording. His boutique jazz record label, Chronograph Records, was nominated for independent Record Label of the Year in 2009 & 2011 – a testament to his hard work and passion for promoting Western Canadian artists.
Kodi is a true artist that finds musical inspiration in the simple things – and he channels this inspiration into his work with the Hutchinson Andrew Trio and all his musical endeavours.