Many have heard of her, others maybe not, so let me introduce you to a wonderful star in the tap dance galaxy: Brenda Bufalino. An award-winning New York based teacher, choreographer, lecturer, author and leader in the tap dance world, her career spans five decades. For fifteen years she directed her own company (The American Tap Dance Orchestra) and has been a guiding force behind tap's renaissance through festivals, workshops and conferences, both in the US and abroad.
Receiving awards and fellowships for her contributions to the field of tap dance, in 1977, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, she produced the documentary, Great Feats of Feet: Portraits of Jazz Tap Dancers. Featuring Honi Coles and the Copasetics, the film energized the art form's resurgence, coaxing many older dancers to come out of retirement and perform again.
In the late 1950's Brenda Bufalino moved from Boston to New York City, where the jazz scene was thriving. Back then there weren't many tap classes: instead, students worked with teachers one-on-one. It was then that Brenda began a long period of study with Honi Coles, a former vaudeville performer and half of the 'class-act' duo with Cholly Atkins. She absorbed his teaching and soon began performing with him as a duo. Coles was her mentor until his death in 1992.
The art of tap is handed down through generations, strongly influenced by individuals like Coles, Bufalino, and many other greats. In our case, the lineage is from Honi to Brenda, to me...and from me to you! I'm thrilled to bring Brenda Bufalino to Salt Lake. It's a big opportunity for our tap community!