Australia’s Premiere Celebration of Tap over the September School Holidays


The 5th annual Australian Tap Dance Festival stomps into town these September school holidays as a cavalcade of world class dancers arrive in Melbourne from across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the U.S.A. With an action-packed week of tap and choreography master classes, jam sessions, dance-offs and special events, the ATDF offers something fun for all ages and levels and is the only festival of its kind in Australasia.

”The ATDF is about bringing the tap community and the interested public together to learn, share, meet new people and most of all, have fun!”, says Creative Director and Founder of the Festival and Melbourne Tap Dance school, Winston Morrison. “We select the highest caliber faculty from across the world to deliver a truly unique immersive festival experience for our guests. Many of our festival sessions book out quickly as there is no other chance for Aussie tappers to learn from the best in one place!” he added. Morrison is himself highly regarded in the tap world as the Australian representative for the International Tap Association, experienced teacher and an in-demand performer across Australasia and the U.S.A.

One of the most sought after tap dancers in the world today, Michelle Dorrance, will be headlining the festival this year. A 2015 MacArthur Fellow and multi-award winner, Dorrance has been labeled “one of the most imaginative tap choreographers working today” by the New Yorker magazine.

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Sample sessions at this year’s ATDF include a free beginners class for all ages and abilities, learn the Shim Sham – the anthem of tap dance, Cutting Contest – the ultimate tap battle, and Talking Tap – a Q&A with Michelle Dorrance and faculty. The festival culminates with the Rhythm Warriors gala on Saturday 1 October featuring an eye and ear-popping performance array of the crème de la crème of the tap world and live music.


DATES: 24 September – 1 October

VENUE: Chapel off Chapel, 12 Lt. Chapel St., Prahran

The Space Dance & Arts Centre, 8 Carlton St., Prahran

Melbourne Polytechnic, 144 High St., Prahran

TICKETS: Various. From FREE to $36



 The Australian Tap Dance Festival is proudly supported by The City of Stonnington

Full Schedule of ATDF Events


Saturday 24th September @ 1pm (Chapel Off Chapel) “Never Tapped Before” – Absolute beginner class – FREE Ever wanted to tap, but never got the chance?

This class is free and open to the public. No tap shoes required – just wear comfortable shoes.

Come learn fun basics and great rhythms in a friendly environment and leave wanting more!

Sunday 25th September @ 6.30pm (Chapel Off Chapel) Talking Tap – Faculty Q & A – $15 entry

Join the Australian Tap Dance Festival faculty for a live Q&A.

Discover what made them choose their career in dance, how they got started,

what drives & inspires them

Monday 26th September @ 6.30pm (Chapel Off Chapel) Tap Dance Jam night with Live Music – $15 entry

Experience the energy of a tap jam and witness improvisation..

We welcome you as a tap community to have a go on the floor

or simply enjoy watching tap steps being created in the spontaneity of the moment!

Tuesday 27th September @ 6.30pm (Chapel Off Chapel) Future of Tap presented by Capezio – $15 entry See what’s happening in Tap from around Australia and New Zealand

as artists present new works and excerpts from shows. .

Adjudicated by members of the festival faculty, artists will receive feedback on their style,

musicality, visual presentation and connection in their performance.

Wednesday 28th September @ 6.30pm (Chapel Off Chapel) Cutting Competition (Tap Battle) – $15 entry

Tap dancers will improvise against an opponent and be judged on their timing,

musicality, sound, originality and style. It is essentially a tap battle!

There will be an under 12 division, and a teenage/adult division.

Capezio® tap shoes will be awarded to the winner!

Thursday 29th September @ 6.30pm (Chapel Off Chapel) Learn the Famous Shim Sham – FREE

The Shim Sham Shimmy is a famous tap finale created in 1927 by Dr. Leonard Reed

and his friend Willie Bryant in the wings before a show because they needed a quick finale!

It has lasted through time and become an anthem for tap dancers.

Open to any tap dancer who is comfortable with their tap basics.

Sunday 25th Sept – Thursday 29th Sept @ 1pm (The Space) Lunchtime Talks/Jams – FREE

Learn the history and stories of the dance, watch historical footage,

or join in a conversation on the floor and jam.

Simply turn up at lunchtime and enjoy!

Saturday 1st October @ 7pm The Australian Tap Dance Festival Gala – “Rhythm Warriors”

Irving Hall Theatre @ Lauriston’s Girl’s School, 38 Huntingtower Rd., Armadale

One very special night celebrating rhythm and music,

and the most esteemed event of the festival. A stellar line-up of international and

Australian tap dancers showcasing everything you love about tap dance and more.