Jane Goldberg

Tapper | Historian | Comedian


Jane has been a Professor of Dance at New York University, American University (Washington DC), and New World School of the Arts (Miami). Her expertise has brought her to teach and lecture at places such as Jacob’s Pillow and the American Dance Festival, where tap hadn’t been performed in 37 and 18 years, respectively. She was also a guest speaker for the NY Council on the Humanities. Additionally, she received two Fulbright Scholarships to go to India.

Areas of expertise include:

Talking Tap with Gregory Hines: Lecture/Demonstration

Using footage, slides, videos, and audio commentary, Jane Goldberg is available for a new lecture/demonstration, and “feets-on” master class focusing on the late leader and visionary, Gregory Hines, who died August 9, 2003.

Goldberg and Hines were close friends; he chose her as his chronicler to document his theories, dreams, stories of his show biz past, and saw the big picture of how he wanted to  “keep tap moving forward.” Hines was a major unifier of tap dancers as well as a triple threat in the entertainment world of singing/dancing/acting. He still had his “feet” in the tradition as demonstrated in the movie “TAP” which he, Savion Glover, and Sammy Davis, Jr. starred in with seven of the great big band hoofers. 

Teaching Tap Dancing as Race Relations

The roots of tap are very controversial. No one really knows how tap dancing began. Names like Juba and John Bubbles are considered forerunners of what is now called Rhythm Tap, as distinguished from Broadway/Show Tap. Throughout the whole history of tap, controversies have surrounded the true roots and whether they are black, white, Irish, Indian, Spanish, and even South America.

The Feets-On Lecture

Jane Goldberg is available for lecture-demonstrations to educate the world to tap’s complex story. Because it is oral history, and because it’s still in its infancy, tap history has been rarely documented.

The Jane Goldberg Feets-On lecture includes a lot of truth and consequences, anecdotal and subjective/but knowledgable statements about “the” story of tap. The important thing to know is Jane was “there” for the last of the old school masters who were in their sixties and seventies and still had their “feet” intact and stories to tell.

There are good books to try to find out some of the oral history. These books include Tap Roots: The Early History of Tap Dancing, by Mark Knowles, Tap Dancing America by Constance Valis Hill, “TAP! The Greatest Tap Dance Stars and their Stories,” by Rusty Frank, What the Eye Hears by Brian Seibert, Acia Gray’s, Anita Feldman’s and Bob Audy’s “How to” books on tap. Others: Brenda Bufalino’s memoir, Tapping the Source, Jerry Ames’ The Book of Tap, and Jazz Dance by Marshall and Jean Stearns, The Astaires by Kathleen Riley, The Musical Films: Astaire Dancing by John Mueller, Class Act, the jazz life of choreographer Cholly Atkins by Jacqui Malone, Mr. Bojangles by Jim Haskins and N.R. Mitgang. There are many others, so please excuse me for leaving them out. An error in forgetfulness.