American Tap Dance Foundation Closure

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The ATDF non-profit organization will downsize yet retain its 501c3 status as a nonprofit organization to produce projects and programs in the future. Tap City, the annual New York City Tap Festival which would have celebrated its 24th year, will also be canceled this year.

“Although emergency funding was able to sustain ATDF for a short while, the aftermath of the pandemic created extraordinary financial challenges,” said Tony Waag, ATDF Founding Artistic/Executive Director. “For most people the pandemic is over. But for arts institutions, the impact of the pandemic still lingers.”

The American Tap Dance Foundation will be celebrated at a special event on Thursday, July 11 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Hosted by the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the Library for the Performing Arts, A Celebration of The American Tap Dance Foundation will include the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Tony Waag, ATDF Founding Artistic/Executive Director, for his 24 years of service, leadership, and inspiration to the tap community. Cast list, presenters, and ticket link to be announced. This event is FREE and open to the public.

The American Tap Dance Center opened in 2009, offering year-round tap training and rehearsal space.  ATDF is proud that it has supported tap dancers of all ages and instilled the love of tap dance in so many. Each year approximately 500 students have enjoyed tap classes at the center, providing employment for approximately 60 teachers and staff.  ATDF’s programming has provided performance opportunities for over 75 tap dancers, musicians, and technicians annually.

“Running ATDF and its home the American Tap Dance Center for 14 years was a huge part of my life as a director, producer and of course a tap dancer,” said Mr. Waag.“I can’t thank my staff, my board, our funders, our teachers, our students, our artists in residence, and of course my mentor Brenda Bufalino enough for supporting me and my efforts for 24 years now. I look forward to future projects that are already in the making,” he said.

“NYC Tap Dance Central,” a new company with the goal of continuing the Youth and Adult educational programs offered by ATDF, is being created by Susan Hebach, longtime ATDF staff member and Director of the ATDF Youth Program and Tap City Youth Ensemble. Plans are in motion to take over the lease in the current space, if possible, which will include a dedicated tap dance space for tap artists. For more information, visit or email Ms. Hebach at

The ATDF Board would like to thank all the generous support provided over the years from individual donors as well as larger grants provided from: New York Community Trust, New York Department of Cultural Affairs, Howard Gilman Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, the David Kellogg Family Foundation, Jerome Robbins Foundation, the Tsunami Foundation – Anson and Debra Beard, Jr. and Family, as well as all of the students, staff, artists and audience members for sharing their love of tap dance.

American Tap Dance Foundation, Image credit ATDF

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