Level 1 Certificate Program

Level 1 Training and Certificate (July 2019 – Spring 2020)

The Level 1 Training takes place in two sessions. Level 1 curriculum covers foundational concepts for all rhythm tap teaching, with a focus on teaching beginning tap students (children age 6+, teen and adult students). Trainees must successfully complete both sessions and evaluations to be awarded a Level 1 Certificate issued by the ATDF.

The Tap Teacher Training Certificate Program is geared towards advanced and intermediate tap dancers. Students are accepted based on application and video that shows tap dance level. The program welcomes experienced tap teachers who want to enhance their current teaching skills, as well as dancers with no teaching experience. 

Session 1

  • Monday, July 15 - Sunday, July 21, 2019

    One-week training intensive at the American Tap Dance Center, NYC.

    • tap technique

    • Copasetic Canon repertory

    • pedagogy

    • jazz music concepts

    • tap composition & improvisation

    • tap history & video

    • informal showing

    • discussions and info sharing

Session 2

  • Fall 2019 - Spring 2020:
    Independent work, off-site
    • Trainees are assigned a faculty mentor and will complete independent work and assignments in their home communities


  • Spring 2020:
    Trainees who successfully complete assignments will receive a Level 1 Certificate awarded by the ATDFCertificate


  • New for 2019: Karen Callaway Williams and Lisa La Touche join the TTT faculty of Brenda Bufalino, Barbara Duffy, Thelma Goldberg, Susan Hebach, Margaret Morrison and Toni Noblett.

Session 1 - Intensive Overview (subject to change)

The July intensive begins with a Monday morning orientation meeting. Monday to Saturday, students will be in class all day, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. The intensive week concludes on the last Sunday with an information meeting and workshop on Session 2 assignments..



JULY SAMPLE SCHEDULE (offered for illustration only, subject to change)












Rhythm Tap Technique - B. Duffy




Copasetic Canon Repertory - B. Duffy

Goodbye meeting



Lunch Break

Early afternoon


Pedagogy - Faculty

Master Classes    B. Bufalino

Pedagogy - Faculty


Late afternoon


Music / Composition / Improvisation / Tap History -  S. Hebach, M. Morrison, T. Noblett, T. Goldberg & guest faculty




July Course Descriptions (subject to change)

Rhythm Tap Technique

A daily intermediate/advanced level tap technique class based in rudiments and exercises developed by Barbara Duffy and Brenda Bufalino and gleaned from Copasetic Canon material. Students will work to clean up their own technique and identify habits that prevent solid technique, while honing full body expression, listening skills, and personal style.

Private tap lesson

Each student will have one private lesson with a faculty member to identify personal training focus.


Copasetic Canon Repertory and Informal Performance

Every day, Copasetic Canon repertory will be taught with a focus on foot technique, body movement, style, musicality and performance skills. Class will perform the material in the informal showing at the end of the intensive. Level 1 repertory includes: “Coles Stroll by Charles "Honi" Coles,” “Shim Sham Shimmy,” “Copasetic Soft Shoe,” “BS Chorus,” “Doin’ the New Lowdown” by Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.


Teaching towards the Canon - Level 1 Pedagogy

Afternoon classes will address strategies and methods for teaching basic and beginning level tap students, using the technical challenges, stylistic body use and musical ideas of the Copasetic Canon. These dances build a solid and progressive foundation for beginning through advanced tap students and provide essential lessons in rhythm tap, including: solid tap technique, learning to count a measure of music, the structure of 8-bar phrases, learning how a 2-bar break is used, the structure of a chorus: understanding AABA, swing rhythms and triplets, use of the body, weight change and gravity, full-body rhythmic expression and style, tap history.

Master Class with Brenda Bufalino

Ms. Bufalino coaches Trainees on Copasetic body style and musicality. She will address her approach to rhythm tap education and training the next generation of rhythm tap artists. With live piano accompaniment.

Jazz Music Concepts, Tap Composition & Improvisation

The jazz music essentials that all tap dancers and students need, will be taught in afternoon sessions, through improvisation exercises and short composition assignments. A live musician will accompany the class. Students will hone improv skills and learn composition skills to develop class material.

Embodying Tap History

Several 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 & info meetings: Topics in teaching

The week will begin with an orientation and end with a good-bye/info session to prepare students for the week intensive and for student independent work during the fall. The week intensive includes group discussions to share information.

Informal Showing

At the end of the week, Trainees will present Copasetic Canon Repertory to each other.

Session 2 Overview

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 five works of the Copasetic Canon Repertory accurately

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

    • that they are able to teach sections of the Copasetic 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. More details TBA after students register.

Assignments and Certificate

During Session 2, trainees will digitally submit written and videoed assignments to mentors for feedback. Trainees who successfully complete work will be awarded a Level 1 Certificate from the American Tap Dance Foundation.

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 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 completed the Level 1 Training.

Level 3 - Training and Certificate

Covers skills for teaching advanced beginner and intermediate tap dancers and provides deeper exploration of rhythm tap artistry. Pre-requisite: successful completion of Level 1 & Level 2.

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)