Teaching and preaching tap dance, Debby Robertson lives and breathes the percussive art. “Tap dance is music!” she says, adding that this universal form of expression is accessible to everyone. “It’s a personal and physical embodiment of rhythm. We make joyful noise!”
Robertson, the Utah representative for the International Tap Association, directs SLC Tap, a pick-up group of performers who come together for various performances and projects. Robertson, who came to Utah by way of New York City several years ago, says that Salt Lake City needs a boom in tap dance, and she envisions a youth performance ensemble, more collaboration with other artists in various mediums, and an increase in tap’s mainstream profile.
She specializes in rhythm tap, which is more complex than musical theater or show tap and involves syncopated rhythms, as well as complicated musical phrasings and footwork. “Rhythm tap grew up and developed right alongside jazz music,” she says. “They’re both truly American art forms.”
Robertson teaches tap classes at Sugar Space on Monday evenings for beginner and intermediate-advanced adults and teens. More information can be found here.
*Special thanks to The State Room for letting us use their stage for the photo shoot.
Photographer and award-winning journalist Austen Diamond specializes in creative portraiture, commercial photography and editorial photojournalism. For booking inquiries and to view his portfolio, go to www.AustenDiamond.com.