Dorothy Anderson Wasserman is a visual artist, photographer, educator, tap dancer and choreographer. These professions have crisscrossed over a span of four decades, informing and enriching the paths she's taken. Added to the mix throughout her life is a deep and abiding love of music.
Dorothy started tap dancing in 1973 in New Paltz, New York, with Brenda Bufalino. She was assistant director of “Great Feats of Feet,” the award-winning documentary featuring Honi Coles and the Copasetics. (To be shown at Salt City Tap Fest on Friday October 26th.) Dorothy performed with Bufalino's company from 1976-1978, and was in their hit show titled “Singing, Swinging and Winging” at the Pilgrim Theater in NYC.
In 1978 Dorothy moved to Boston, where she founded the Jazz Arts Studio, and taught, performed, and directed the Toe Jammin’ Dance Company. She has performed in Jane Goldberg's Sole Sisters company, and also in the Topical Tap company, along with Goldberg and Sarah Safford. It was at a Sole Sisters performance at LaMaMa in NYC that Gregory Hines saw Dorothy's funky version of the Shim Sham, and proceeded to invite her to recreate the dance for his movie “TAP”. Working on the movie along with a lot of the old tap greats was a wonderful experience, and Dorothy received credits as a featured dancer and choreographer. Soon after, the "Dorothy Shim Sham" became widely known, and by now this dance is taught all over the world.
Dorothy taught tap at the New Jersey School of Dance Arts for over 25 years, also teaching art full time at a public school. She collaborated with the dance school's director Christine Taylor on many shows for the school, as well as for the North Jersey Civic Youth Ballet. She has also choreographed for Pamela Hetherington's Take it Away Dance company in Philadelphia, for Footnotes Tap Ensemble in North Carolina, and for the National Tap Ensemble in Washington, DC.
In 2017 Dorothy moved to Tacoma, Washington. She's thrilled to be sharing the rhythm and her love of tap with dancers at the Salt City Tap Fest.
For more information visit: dorothyshimsham.com, dorothyandersonwasserman.com, and her YouTube channel: Dorothy Wasserman