Hoofer Awards


The annual Hoofer Award recognizes prominent tap artists as leaders in the community

for their unique contribution to the form and for inspiring future generations.

2015 - Heather Cornell is known for her deeply musical approach to the art form of tap dance. As a performer she is an intuitive musician, and her recent endeavors have been in creating music ensembles where she functions as the percussionist. “Making Music Dance”, a cross fusion of flamenco, tap, sand and wood, and world music, premiered at Jazz en Rafele, Montreal in 2013 and will be releasing their first CD in the spring.  “Finding Synesthesia”, with pianist Andy Milne, cello and vocals, was commissioned by UK’s London Jazz Festival in 2007. Ms. Cornell co-created (with Thanos Daskalopoulos) a music/percussion summit in Lefkada, Greece, that ran for 8 seasons, where her concepts of training free thinking “bilingual” artists in music and dance were put into action. “CanTap”, performs internationally, and brings together Canada’s finest tap dancers and musicians for evenings of choreography and new approaches to improvisation.  Ms. Cornell is artistic director and choreographer for the acclaimed Manhattan Tap, one of the busiest music/dance companies in the world in the 80’s and 90’s.  Ms. Cornell became known as one of the mover’s and shaker’s of the tap dance renaissance and was credited for creating a style of choreography dubbed as “visual music” by the NY Times.  She is co-director (with Anna de la Paz) of “Walk to the Beat”, in Nyack, NY, recently awarded a national commission from New Music USA.

This year the 25th Anniversary of Heather’s Rhythm Tap Intensive with Live Music will be held July 20 – 31, 2015 at Flamenco Vivo in NYC.   Through this event, as well as Manhattan Tap, her university teaching and her international touring, Ms. Cornell has directed, taught and inspired three generations of tap dancers, musicians and actors. Called “the Oscar Peterson of hoofing” (Globe and Mail, Toronto, Canada), she was apprentice to six of America’s tap masters and is one of a handful of dancers who trained directly with this generation.  Known for her innovative collaborations on original music for tap, Ms. Cornell was the only tap dancer chosen and mentored by the infamous bassist, Ray Brown.  She is a pioneer of concert tap and of working with world music.  She choreographed the “The Play What I Wrote” for Broadway and trained the actors for “Three Penny Opera” for Atalaya Theater Company in Sevilla, Spain.

TV, radio and film credits:  “Thinking on Their Feet, Women of the Tap Renaissance” (Jenai Cutcher), “Gotta Move, Women in Tap” (Lynn Daly), ”“KQED special w. Honi Coles and the Jazz Tap Ensemble; “Gregory Hines’ Tap Dance in America” for PBS; featured MT special on “Sounds Impressive”; WYNC’s live radio show, “Around New York” for 5 years.  Awards: “Legend of Tap” (2008), Vancouver, Canada; Tapestry Award (2010) Boston, MA; JUBA! Award (2011), Chicago Human Rhythm Project; Flobert, (2012) NYC Committee for National Tap Day.  She is grateful to be the recipient of this year’s Tap City “Hoofers Award”.


For more information:  www.manhattantap.org

American Tap Dance Foundation

American Tap Dance Center

154 Christopher Street #2B New York, NY 10014

Phone 646-230-9564
Fax 646-230-7777
Email: info@atdf.org

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