Monday, June 24, 2024
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Guest Artist Teaches Tap at Sterling Dance

In January of last year, Ellen Keane, tap artist and found­er of Keane Sense of Rhythm, visited Sterling Dance to teach a tap masterclass. She returned to teach another class this year, March 5-7. Keane is a friend and mentor of Sterling Dance’s founder and artistic director, Re­nee Moe.

Ellen Keane has taught tap at the University of Minnesota and performed internationally. She has also presented multiple tap festivals featuring highly-tal­ented tap instructors in the Twin Cities.

During this visit, Keane taught musical theater tap, tap history, and rhythm tap. She also taught “hat tricks’’ — specific hat chore­ography in relation to tap dance. Hat choreography includes the traditional bowler hat throws and catches. Keane also choreo­graphed a few phrases of the tap piece for the older dancers to be performed in Sterling’s dance recital on June 29 and 30, 2024.

Students in attendance rep­resented a wide range of ages, from the youngest dancers at two years of age to grand­mothers, and Wednesday’s class was specifically for teens and adults. A student of Keane’s wrote a book about tap, which was read in part to the youngest dancers.

Lovin’ Lake County gener­ously sponsored Ellen Keane’s classes at Sterling, and Sterling Dance would like to thank them for this “special opportunity.”

For Ava Oswald-Swenson, the class with Keane was her first time trying tap. She expressed, “I very much enjoyed learning tap and thought it was a great experience.”

“Tap with Ellen was a blast and surprisingly challenging – so good for my brain,” student Stephanie Smoot commented.

Thank you to Ellen Keane for introducing tap to new dancers and helping improve the skills of current dancers! Thank you also to Lovin’ Lake County for sponsoring this event. And thanks, Renee, for helping in­spire another generation of tap dancers.

As someone once said, “Dance is a superpower: everybody has it, but only a few are brave enough to unleash it.”

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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