Tap Dance Conservatory


The Tap Conservatory is a year-round school of tap dance with a comprehensive curriculum for kids, teens and adults. (Beginning to Advanced Pro Level) Each year the ATDF serves close to 600 students which includes ongoing Training Programs for kids,  teens and adults; the Tap City Youth Ensemble; seasonal Master Tap Intensives, Choreography Workshops for professionals, a Teacher Training Certificate Program and numerous public performances, lectures, jams and film presentations. The Foundation’s classes offer students a chance to become immersed in tap culture.

The ultimate goal of the American Tap Dance Foundation is the development of a comprehensive program that includes; an array of tap dance styles that are taught by masters of their own style who can articulate their methods clearly and are eager to help the student develop virtuosity, a thorough knowledge of the form; it's history, diversity, vernacular, various techniques and choreographic structures.   


Classes on technique, improvisation and tap dance history are held year-round and daily, as well as seasonal Tap Intensives for Professionals that focus on choreography, composition, music for tap and performance opportunities. Currently the ATDF Youth Program is directed by Susan Hebach who also is the director of the Tap City Youth Ensemble, a performing ensemble of teens (ages 10-19). Our faculty includes noted working professionals in the field today, as well as numerous guest teachers who are recognized internationally.

Directed by ATDF founders Brenda Bufalino and Tony Waag, the Tap Conservatory places tap dance in a collaborative setting that also includes musicians, vocalists, directors, writers, historians, mixed-media artists and choreographers of other disciplines. Ultimately, the American Tap Dance Foundation would like to offer the student of tap the opportunity to matriculate in a college degree program. If the student is majoring in Musical Theater, American Studies, Classical or Jazz Music, Writing for the Stage, or wishes to include Ballet, Modern and Jazz dance in their studies, The American Tap Dance Foundation will guide the student to the proper channels for their degree program, of which tap will be a part.


Knowledge of the history of tap, and its unique development, is the glue that holds our family together. Acknowledging the contributions of past masters and teaching their styles, builds pride in our community and encourages the student to excel and make their own innovations and contributions. The American Tap Dance Foundation will continue building its aural, video tape, and literary archives in collaboration with Lincoln Center Library for The Performing Arts. The students will have access to this archive and have the opportunity to attend lectures where the work will be analyzed and discussed.   


The American Tap Dance Foundation intends to make New York City the true home of tap dance, so that local, national and international students, who come here from around the world, know that they will be receiving the best training, and see the best performances in the country.