Tucson tap dancers head to world championships

Tucson tap dancers head to world championships
Published: Aug. 20, 2023 at 2:16 PM MST|Updated: Aug. 21, 2023 at 7:48 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Dancers with DXX Tap are practicing every day in the studio, and in less than one month, they’ll be tapping their way to Germany for the IDO World Tap Dance Championship.

Two years ago, dancer Brendan Kellam started DXX Tap, southern Arizona’s only non-profit tap dance company that helps bring tap dance to people across the Old Pueblo and raise money for different causes.

He was even able to get his own dance studio this past January to further his movement.

But Kellam’s love for tap dancing goes back further.

“I decided to go to the University of Arizona to get my bachelor in dance,” Kellam said.

Not only is he the head coach but he is also the choreographer for the team.

“I decided I wanted to start something, but I didn’t want to just start a company where we tap dance just for fun,” he said. “Tap dance is for fun, but I wanted to kind of reach out and do more with it.”

While coaching these dancers -- Kellam is also getting in on the performance. This will be his second performance in Germany, the first came in 2018 with a team from Boston.

This experience, however, is a little more special for the young tappers.

Five dancers from 14 to 16 years old will represent the team. This championship will be their first time representing the United States and it’s also their first-time dancing in an international event.

“It’s been crazy. I’ve been doing tap since I was really little and until I heard that I could possibly go to Germany, I didn’t know I could do something that big,” said Alexis Bates, one of the members of the tap team. She is also performing in a trio in Germany.

“Just the progression in tap dancing in general, I love it,” said Preston Fisher, another member of the team. He is also performing in the trio, and he also has a solo. “This whole journey leading up to now, I’ve gotten to tap my heart out.”

Now, the team is focused on perfecting their routines with a full-length performance coming up in Mid-September which will also help to raise money for their expenses.

Admittedly, Brendan’s nerves are a little high this year – even more than when he competed in 2018. But, his loyalty and passion for this team and craft span well beyond.

“Tap family is good family; nobody judges, beats you down or critiques you. It’s all positivity, it’s all love,” Kellam said to his team. “I’ve been so blessed to watch all the growth you guys have had this season, and it’s time to put it all out there and show the world why we’re the best.”

DXX Tap’s performance to raise money for Germany is on Sep. 16 at The Highlands by Dove Mountain. For more information on the team and DXX Studios, CLICK HERE.

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