"Touche Taps" Interview by Shaina Schwartz


Interview with
Shaina Schwartz

Of “Touche Taps”

1. What is the name of your company?

 We are “Touche Taps”!

2. How many years has your company existed? 

 This is our 5th season. 

 3. Where is your company based? 

 We are based mainly out of Boston/Greater Boston and we frequently perform in Southern New Hampshire. 

 4. What are the age range of the dancers in your company?

 We have two companies- Touche Taps (19-30yrs) and Touche Teens (12-18yrs) and we perform and rehearse both separately and together depending. 

 5. How often do your dancers meet to rehearse? Perform? 

 We meet 2-3 times a week and have at least one or two shows a month. 

6.  When you began, what was your primary motivation/goal/mission for starting a Tap dance company? 

 When I initially created TT it was mainly an opportunity for young dancers to expand on their tap training outside of their respective dance classes. My first company was 14 kids! I would bring in guest artists for master classes and workshops because at the time I didn’t have the advanced skills down pat and felt like I still had so much to learn (I still feel that way!) I would also perform as a soloist as “Touche Taps” and would invite my friends to come on gigs with me as they came up. 

 7.  As time has moved on, how has that mission evolved? 

 Now I have officially divided the group into two separate companies. TT is adults looking to dance and learn while Touche Teens is more of a training/apprentice program for 4-5 incredible kids. 

8. What has been the biggest challenge of starting a dance company? 

 Fundraising! Fundraising! Even with a budget it feels like there’s never enough. We self produce all of our shows—for our next show I am doing 90% of the choreography as well as writing 60% of the music from scratch with multiple composers. Finding out how to give every person who works with me the monetary honorarium that they deserve is a major strategic endeavor. 

 9. What has been your proudest moment in directing this dance company?

 Every year we have self produced an evening length work, and every year they have gotten tighter and more cohesive. I find that the longer we work together both as dancers and learners, the stronger i become as a leader. Last fall we raised over $2800 for our fall production which has inspired our newest work to be presented this October! 

 10. What words of advice would you offer to someone who is starting their own tap dance company?

Try to dance with your friends first. See what it’s like to lead a group of people you know, trust and admire, to really test your capacity for structure and organization. It’s not just about having #dope choreography! It’s about knowing your stuff backwards and forwards, and being a positive and productive leader.

11. Do you have any current projects the company is working on that you want to promote?

Touche Taps will be performing at Beantown Tap Fest in August and then Our next full production will be in October at the Dance Complex in Cambridge. 

12. Describe your company in one word! 

This is so hard....

- Educational

- Joyful

- Grassroots