Dear friends, family, tap family, and supporters of tap dance:
I am writing to simply say thank you. Thank you all for caring about this incredible art form. Thank you for supporting my young company and my work. And thank you for supporting me, some of you since I was a child.
Earlier this week I was named a 2015 fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. This is an honor I never could have imagined receiving and I am overwhelmed and humbled beyond anything I can describe. Most of you know that I don’t handle this kind of accolade well, especially one of this magnitude. I feel very undeserving, I still have SO much more to do, so much more to explore, so much further to grow — I’m not even close to being the dancer or musician I should be, not to mention the creator/choreographer/director I’m inspired to be…The only sense I can make of this tremendous gift is that it is a reflection of the people who have poured their lives and hearts and spirits into tap dance, and into me.
I want, more than anything, for you all to know how grateful I am to each of you. I am so grateful to my entire family — my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins (some of whom have put up with me tap dancing at their weddings and more). Many of you know my mom and dad, M’Liss and Anson Dorrance, two of the most loving, supportive, generous, hard-working, brilliant, artistic, inspiring human beings on the face of the earth. I can’t believe how blessed I am to be a part of them. I am so proud to be their daughter and every part of them inspires me to be better than I am (and more like them). My sister, Natalie and brother, Donovan are two of my favorite people in the world and I feel like anything is possible when I am around them.
There is one man who is truly responsible for molding me as a tap dancer and an artist and that is Gene Medler. He is magical to me. He is the reason I am a tap dancer, and the reason I fell uncontrollably in love with the form, its masters, and its history. He taught me “dance to express, not to impress.” I can’t put into words what his mentorship, guidance, and love means to me.
I am so indebted to my dancers, friends, peers, teachers, students, elders, living tap masters, and those close to my heart who push me and inspire me constantly, who support me so ferociously, who tell me the hardest truths, and risk their bodies, sanity, hearts, and careers to do what they believe.
We tap dancers stand on the backs of our ancestors who survived slavery, minstrelsy, and endless bigotry while simultaneously birthing and innovating this profound art form. We dance for them. I dance to honor them. We are nowhere without them. And truly, I am nowhere without each of you.
I want to express my deepest gratitude to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for this tremendous honor and for recognizing the enormous power and significance of tap dance.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
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on Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 at 8:51 pm and is filed under News.
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