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.

2018 - Katherine Kramer

"At the heart of my work is a desire to bring people together, to encourage intimacy, and to promote the value of play as a tool in creating a more humane world."

If you’ve met KATHERINE KRAMER, you’ll know her artistic statement isn’t just words – it’s the way she lives her life, borne of her collaborative spirit and devotion to rhythm and movement in multiple forms. She’s an irrepressible community builder. If you ask her what she’s doing now, she might answer, “I’m incubating projects, cavorting with local movers and shakers, conducting workshops, retreats, collaborations with international colleagues, and mentoring individuals. Please stop in!” And she means it. A gypsy at heart, Katherine’s multitudes of home cities haven’t prevented her from being consistently considered a root in the tree of tap dance. She’s been a consistent presence in its resurgence and evolution since the 1970s, when she tapped on Manhattan sidewalks and danced in an early Brenda Bufalino company. She drew great inspiration from the greats and is committed to sharing this legacy.


In the 1980s, living in Puerto Rico, Katherine introduced tap to San Juan dance schools and jazz clubs. Moving to Lexington, KY, she co-directed Syncopated, Inc. and began her now-legendary artistic gatherings by inviting guest artists such as Brenda Bufalino and Honi Coles. She was honored by an invitation to Honi Cole’s first choreographic residency at the Colorado Dance Festival. In the 1990’s, residing in Woodstock, NY, Katherine developed and toured solo shows internationally. She also instigated the Highwood Tap Salon, hosting tap pals Josh Hilberman, Drika Overton, Julia Boynton, and many others. She continued to perform, and in 1995 she was a featured performer at the NY Tap Extravaganza. Another move. In Bozeman, MT Katherine produced 10 dance and music festivals featuring artists such as Dianne Walker, Sarah and Leela Petronio, Jeannie Hill, and the late Daniel Nagrin and Jimmy Slyde. In the 2000’s in Miami (yes, the gypsy moved again, at home anywhere), Katherine taught at several universities and produced collaborative shows, including Not at Home, with Brenda Bufalino and Ara Fitzgerald. Traveling in Cuba and Brazil, Katherine taught tap at Conjuncto Folklorico, and Danza Contemporanea. Then, with Valeria Pinheiro, she collaborated, taught and performed in Brazil, Montana and Alaska. With a Creation Fund Grant from the National Performance Network, she developed Stop Look Listen, which was then produced for SoundCheck, in NY.  It was adapted it to the screen as A Shout at the Dawn with screendance director, Susannah Newman.


All the while, Katherine’s been performing here and abroad. She has won grants and fellowships for choreography, including a Fulbright, an Artist’s Innovation Award from the Montana Arts Council, and now, the 2018 Hoofer Award.  While tap dance has been central to her career, she has created works for ballet and jazz companies­ – even museums. She choreographs for theatre companies, television, and film, including for Robert Redford on his film, The Horse Whisperer.

Katherine is a master teacher and has recently been working with the prestigious national organization, YoungArts. She has developed Whole Body Music, a teaching method for movers and musicians.

"At the heart of my work is a desire to bring people together, to encourage intimacy, and to promote the value of play as a tool in creating a more humane world."

based in Madison, WI, Katherine is developing a writing/video/performance project, Taproot. It traces the footsteps, shares the lessons, and tells the stories of an itinerant dancer and the “wagon train” of friends supporting her journey. The welcome mat is out, wherever you find her.


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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