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Published on: Thursday April 25, 2024

The hugely successful mass participation tap dancing & storytelling experience Tappin’ In is coming to the East Midlands!

Led by Artistic Director Stephanie Riding and Creative Producer Lou Lomas Tappin’ In 2022 celebrated the stories of the West Midlands and the people who call it home. As part of the Commonwealth Games B2022 Festival activity, Tappin’ In engaged with over 130 people across the West Midlands for 8 months, with the aim to tackle isolation and promote creative wellbeing through creative workshops focused on tap dance. The project culminated in a large-scale outdoor event at Birmingham International Dance Festival (BIDF) in June 2022, as well as local sharing events in each groups home community.

With support from FABRIC, Tappin’ In are currently scoping out the potential for an East Midlands version of Tappin’ In over a Research and Development phase in Spring/Summer 2024. The main aims of this time are to develop new partnerships and create a strategy for an East Midlands model of participatory engagement. The strategy will embed co-creation, percussive movement & story-telling relevant to the region, with emphasis on health & well-being and accessibility.

Tappin’ In is about finding joy in movement and music whatever our skill level or ability. This R&D period will enable us to explore a wider range of percussive dance styles and music so we are able to create an East Midlands experience full of joy and celebration.

Stephanie Ridings, Tappin’ In Artistic Director

80% of participants from Tappin’ In 2022 said they would continue dancing beyond the project end, and many groups have continued to include dance as a regular part of their activity programme. The success of the creative writing element also led to Tamworth Arts & Events to create Creative Writing café’s in partnership with a local theatre group.

“I had an amazing experience, made new friends, learnt new skills and got to perform on stage in front of amazing crowd.”

– Participant feedback

The company will be in creative residency with FABRIC week commencing 29 April 2024, testing out ideas for an East Midlands project, engaging local artists and potential partners. There will be an opportunity to engage and connect with the project later in the year, so keep your eyes peeled!

FABRIC are thrilled to be working with the Tappin’ In team to research how we can bring the project to life in the East Midlands. We have seen first hand the power of project in Birmingham and the legacy it has left.

By bringing together potential partners from the arts, community, health and wellbeing sector alongside the creative team we are excited about a bespoke Tappin’ In experience made by and for our East Midlands communities.

Becky Bailey, Director of Engagement at FABRIC

Click here to read more about Tappin’ In 2022 and watch the evaluation documentary