Level 3 Certificate Program

Level 3 Training and Certificate (Not offered in 2019-2020)

The Level 3 Training takes place in two sessions. Level 3 curriculum covers teaching advanced beginning to intermediate tap students (children, teen and adult students). New repertory, exercises, and information will be taught explore deeper rhythm tap concepts. Applicants are required to have completed all of the Level 1 Training. Upper Level Trainings may be attended in any order. Trainees who successfully complete both sessions will be awarded a Certificate issued by the ATDF.

Session 1

  • 6-day training intensive at the American Tap Dance Center, NYC.

    • tap technique

    • Copasetic Canon repertory
    Bufalino repertory and exercises

    • Classic Tap material and exercises

    • jazz music concepts

    • tap composition & improvisation

    • tap history & video

    • informal showing

    • discussions and info sharing

Session 2

  • Fall - Spring:
    Independent work, off-site
    Trainees are assigned a faculty mentor and will complete independent work and assignments and prepare for evaluations from their home communities


  • Spring:
    Trainees who succesfully complete assignments will receive a Certificate awarded by the ATDF.

    Trainees who have completed Level 1, 2, and 3 Trainings will be awarded a “Level 3 Certificate in Teaching Advanced Beginner to Intermediate Level Tap Students.” Trainees who have completed the Level 1 and 3 Trainings only, receive a “Level 2 Certificate in Teaching Advanced Beginner to Intermediate Level Tap Students,” indicating they have completed two Trainings.

Session 1 - July Intensive Overview (subject to change)

The July intensive begins on Tuesday with a 10:00 AM orientation meeting, followed by a full day of classes. The schedule from Tuesday to Saturday will be 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, on Sunday, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. The intensive week concludes on the last Sunday with an information meeting on Session 2 assignments, followed by the informal showing. Faculty includes Brenda Bufalino, Barbara Duffy, Thelma Goldberg, Susan Hebach, Margaret Morrison and Toni Noblett. Daily schedule will be provided in July.

July Level 3 Course Descriptions (subject to change)

Rhythm Tap Technique

In intermediate/advanced level tap technique classes students will work to develop their own rhythm tap technique skills. Participants will identify habits that prevent solid technique, while they improve full body expression, listening skills, and personal style.

Copasetic Canon Repertory, Bufalino Exercises, and Classic Tap Material

In Level 3, participants will learn two Copasetic repertory works: “Warm Feet,” an uptempo swing/bebop chorus by Charles “Honi” Coles, and Pete Nugent’s sophisticated Soft Shoe, “Breezin’.” Brenda Bufalino repertory excerpts (TBA) and exercises will be taught, along with a classic jazz tap waltz chorus, and a classic tap exercise sequence of Shuffle Off to Buffalo, Bambalina, Tap Charleston, Pull Backs, Wings, Over the Tops.

Teaching towards the Canon - Level 3 Pedagogy

Classes will address strategies and methods for teaching advanced beginner to intermediate level tap students (children, teens & adults), using the technical challenges, stylistic body use, and musical ideas of the Copasetic and Bufalino Canon from all three Trainings. Material and concepts from previous Trainings will be reviewed with the goal of helping students develop through the Intermediate level. Students on this level are able to learn all of the moderate tempo dances and many of the up tempo dances covered in the three Trainings. The Level 3 material is a rich source for more challenging footwork exercises, class plans, and new composition. This repertory offers rhythmic complexity, a range of grooves and time signatures. When used in tap class, it can help students develop ease, weight change, and speed needed for up tempos, muscle strength required for jumping and aerial steps, and the poise, balance and control needed for a more complex, but slow Soft Shoe.

Master Class with Brenda Bufalino

Ms. Bufalino coaches Trainees on body style and musicality for Honi Coles’ “Warm Feet.” She will teach from her technique for speed and agility.

Jazz Music Concepts, Tap Composition & Improvisation Level 3

A deeper exploration of the jazz music essentials that all tap dancers and students need. A live musician will accompany the class. Students will work on improv skills and composition concepts to develop class material and student dances.

Embodying Tap History

Class meetings will explore ways to bring tap history and artistry alive for your students and provide an overview of the historical intersections of tap rhythms, jazz music, and American culture.

Discussions: Topics in teaching

The week intensive includes group discussions to share information.

Informal Showing

At the end of the week, Level 3 Trainees will join with Level 1 Trainees to present Copasetic Canon Repertory to each other.

Session 2 Overview

Fall - Spring

In Session 2, trainees will be assigned a faculty mentor and will return to their home communities to complete independent work. During these months, trainees are required to develop their skills as tap teachers by working every week with their own student groups, teaching the concepts and repertory of the Copasetic Canon.

  • By the end of Session 2, trainees will demonstrate through written documentation, video, and evaluation:

• that they are able to dance the works of the Level 3 Copasetic Canon Repertory accurately

• that they have taught a minimum 40 hours, working with students on Level 3 concepts

• that they are able to teach Copasetic and Bufalino repertory to students

• that they are able to incorporate key aspects of the Copasetic Canon into their teaching, including:

      - tap technique that builds towards the repertory

      - body use and dance style that is gleaned from the repertory

      - jazz music concepts

      - tap history

Other requirements include:

• completing composition assignments based on concepts taught in the Jazz Music Structures and Tap Composition class

• communicating by email, once a month, with their mentor on their progress

• staying in regular communication with fellow Tap Teacher Trainees for support and information sharing

The months of Session 2 are an essential time for each trainee to develop her/his skills as a rhythm tap teacher.

Assignments and Certificate

During Session 2, trainees will digitally submit written and videoed assignments to mentors. Trainees who successfully complete work will be awarded a Certificate from the American Tap Dance Foundation. The Certificate will reflect the number of Trainings attended: participants who complete their 3rd Training will receive a “Level 3 Certificate,” while participants who are completing their 2nd Training will receive a “Level 2 Certificate.”

About the Copasetics

Watch a Promotional Video

2014 Video

About Our Graduates

Teacher Training Workshops

Short enrichment workshops open to all Tap Dance Teachers. Join us for a sampling of Copasetic Curriculum and new rhythm tap ideas to bring to your tap students. Recommended for Intermediate and Advanced tap dancers who teach.

Level 1 Training and Certificate

Covers teaching beginning tap students (children age 6+, teen and adult students) and foundational concepts based in the Copasetic Canon for all rhythm tap teaching. All new Trainees start with the Level 1 Training. Applicants are accepted based on video audition and application.”

Level 2 Training and Certificate

Covers teaching fast beginner to advanced beginner tap dancers (children, teen and adult students), continues with Copasetic Canon repertory and concepts, and provides a deeper exploration of tap artistry and expert rhythm tap teaching skills. Pre-requisite: the Level 2 Training is open to all students who attended the Level 1 Training. 


Pre-Tap and Early Learners Training and Certificate

Creative movement curriculum for children ages 3 ½ + emphasizing rhythm games and music exercises to prepare young dancers for tap.

Faculty and Directors

Fees, Deadlines, Application and Scholarships

Hotel (info coming soon)