OPTAP had the opportunity to catch up with Anthony Russo and talk about Tapademics! 

OPTAP: Where is  TAPademics  hosted this year? When will it be taking place?

TA:  TAPademics is being held at the Performing Arts Centre in St Charles, MO August 5-7, 2016  (15min from STL airport) 1540-A Country Club Plaza Dr. St Charles, MO 63303  (636) 946-6787. 

OPTAP: How many years has TAPademics been taking place? 

TA: TAPademics is celebrating its 11th year here in St Charles.    

OPTAP: What for you makes TAPademics a unique experience among all of the events available to tap dancers?

TA:  One thing we focus on when organizing the festival is the diversity and professionalism of our faculty.  Students gain an understanding that variety and balance are important in creating a unique and productive learning environment.  

OPTAP: Who will be apart of the faculty this year? 

TA: Our faculty line-up this year consists of Anthony J Russo (Director), Chris Erk, Kaelyn Gray, Justin Myles, and Jumaane Taylor.

OPTAP: What level of tap dancer and age is this event geared towards? 

Chris Erk, Anthony Russo, and Jumaane Taylor!

TA: We have two levels of classes during the workshop; Beginner/Intermediate (10-13) and Advanced (14+).  In addition we offer a Sunday Mini program for kids 7-9, and the Parent Tap Class is on Saturday afternoon.  We provide age levels as a guide, but we encourage students to take class in the level where they feel most comfortable.  

OPTAP: Are there performance opportunities for the participants? or a Performance for the participants to attend?

TA: The workshop kicks off with a Friday night open level class followed by a concert with The StepHounds, a Rock/Blues/Tap Dance band featuring the faculty of TAPademics.  This event will also include performances by local St Louis tap dancers, selected routines submitted by festival participants, as well as a student/faculty tap jam! 

OPTAP: What special events will be taking place at the festival this year? 

TA: The Friday night Parking Lot Party is our newest addition to the event.  We will have a couple food trucks, live music, and plenty of dancing.  Hosted by The StepHounds (Anthony J Russo, Phil Russo, Justin Myles, and Chris Erk), participants and parents have the opportunity to see the versatility of our faculty as they play, sing, AND dance!  

OPTAP: What is the classroom experience/vibe at TAPademics? Class size? Class length? Topics? Etc? 

TA: We offer a nice range of material in classes throughout the weekend.  Classes are 1-hour and we offer Tap technique, combo classes, Improvisation, Body Percussion, Hip Hop, Scholarship Audition, Footage, Faculty Q&A, and Show & Tell for the parents at the end of the workshop on Sunday.  The festival venue is in a studio, not a convention hall.  This brings a more personal and intimate vibe to the event, for sure.

OPTAP: What is the cost of attending TAPademics  Is there a host hotel? What kind of opportunities are there for lodging? If I am coming from out of town do I need to rent a car to get around or is public transportation and walking an option for me?

TA: The cost to attend TAPademics is $200.  There are hotel options listed on our website, each within 1.5 miles of the venue.  (www.TAPademics.com)  If you're flying into STL, it is suggested you rent a car, as there is no public transit in the area.  

OPTAP: Choose one word to describe TAPademics.

TA: Family.

For more information go to Tapademics.com!