We are tap musicians and artists. We elevate people’s perception of tap by showcasing a variety of styles.
To expose a broad community to the many facets of tap.
The Skylark Tappers' core values are:
We are a tap family. Tapping together brings us joy.
We will foster and maintain an inclusive environment, where a diversity of talents, skills, and backgrounds feel accepted and valued.
We are a team. We create and sustain the organization in a collaborative environment.
We are musicians. We embrace and create all forms of music.
We provide a space to support our artistic expression in a safe environment.
We are committed to keeping tap alive by spreading awareness and teaching younger generations about tap and its history.
Annika Abel Photography
In 1978, Claire (Hallstead) Roche started The Company in her Skylark Studio. She wanted to share her love of tap beyond the studio. The Company, made up of students picked from her classes, would later become the Skylark Tappers. Over the years, the Skylark Tappers were asked to entertain at various benefit concerts around town. In 1983, many were involved in a commercial celebrating the restoration of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.
Now under the artistic direction of Judy Tibbles, who has led the group since 1992, the company promotes the joy and artistry of this uniquely American dance form with inventive choreography, commanding stage presence and contagious enthusiasm. The group’s repertoire includes classic rhythm tap routines lovingly passed down by 20th-century tap masters and new choreography set to a variety of musical genres that include classical, swing, pop, contemporary and jazz.
Most recently we have been exploring improvisation and performing with live musicians. We have performed at the Rose City Festival/Pepsi Waterfront Village, National Tap Dance Day, Dance Coalition of Oregon Choreographers’ Showcase, and most recently the Late Night Special at the Curious Comedy Theater. We regularly produce and perform our own concerts with our most recent being “Skylarks on Tap with a Taste of Local Flavor” in October 2019 at the Headwaters Theatre.
Our dancers have enriched their tap skills by taking classes with celebrated tap masters such as Cholly Atkins, Portland’s own Terry Brock, Eddie Brown, Brenda Bufalino, Charles “Honi” Coles, Steve Condos, Heather Cornell, Arthur Duncan, Acia Gray, Leonard Reed, Jason Samuels Smith, Jimmy Slyde, Linda Sohl-Ellison, Dianne Walker and Sam Weber.