Posted: Thursday, August 13, 2015 9:00 am
By Shannon Flynn firstname.lastname@example.org
About 400 dancers from all over the globe have stormed the area this summer for one reason — to tap.
After a week of intensive workshops and classes, the dancers — including some world tap champions and members of national tap teams — will hit the stage at the J. Everett Collins Center in Andover on Friday to present “Tap United: The Show.”
The performance will culminate Nancy Chippendale’s Dance Studios in North Andover’s 10th annual “Dance United: The Festival.”
Dance studio owner and director Nancy Chippendale Carberry said Friday’s performance is a unique, diverse show where dancers and choreographers from almost a dozen countries will showcase their own tap routines.
“It’s a phenomenal performance,” she added.
Chippendale Carberry, together with her husband, Bob Carberry, launched the international summer dance festival after meeting Kerstin Albrecht, a fellow dance instructor from Germany, at the World Tap Dance Championships in 2004.
The North Andover dance studio had already been holding an annual dance festival and Chippendale Carberry invited Albrecht and her dance company to join the event the following year.
In 2005, with the arrival of Albrecht’s dance troupe, Nancy Chippendale’s dance festival officially turned international.
Since then, it has offered aspiring dancers ages 9 and up a chance to train with elite teachers and choreographers in a format that integrates an international cultural exchange.
This year, the event has welcomed tap dancers from 10 different countries, including England, Italy, Ukraine, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, as well as 20 different states across the U.S.
The festival kicked off last Sunday with a welcoming barbecue. The dance classes began Monday, with the students practicing all forms of dance from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Students also have the opportunity to audition for Friday night’s culminating performance at the Collins Center.
For Chippendale Carberry, the best part of working with international students and choreographers is how friendly everyone is. She said they all are lovely people, and the kids are respectful and eager to learn.
Most of the international students stay with host families for the week. Once the dance portion of their day is over, they enjoy activities with their hosts, such as taking trips to the beach, Boston and Canobie Lake Park.
“They want to experience our lifestyle here,” Chippendale Carberry said.
Jo Scanlan, a choreographer from England who has been taking part in the festival since 2011, agrees, saying her students enjoy being part of an American family.
Chippendale Carberry said the festival has grown over the years through word of mouth. Dani Borak, a six-time world champion from Zurich, Switzerland, said he was contacted in 2012 via Facebook and asked if he would like to take part in the festival.
Borak has been back every year since, saying it is an honor to train young dancers and help them refine their technique.
What: Nancy Chippendale’s Dance Studios’ “Tap United: The Show”
When: Friday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m.
Where: J. Everett Collins Center at Andover High School, 80 Shawsheen Road, Andover
Admission: Tickets $27, available in advance at tapunited1.com