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HomeMadyson Bauer 2011

Madyson Bauer 15 ~ Buster Cooper Tap Scholarship

Madyson Bauer is a freshman at Grapevine High School in Colleyville, TX where she is an honors student and sergeant of the GHS Belles Drill Team. She began dancing when she was two and has danced competitively since she was seven years old. She has always had a passion and great respect for tap dancing – the rhythms come from deep inside her soul. Although Madyson’s favorite genre is tap, her passion for dance knows no boundaries. She is a member of the senior competition team at Lifesong Studio, where she studies lyrical, jazz and ballet.

Madyson has been a member of the “Drawbacks Youth Tap Ensemble” since its inception in 2008. DYTE has given her the opportunity to study tap history and to learn traditional numbers that have been passed down through many generations of tap dancers. She was especially honored to have had the opportunity to learn the historic number “Where Was You At”, choreographed by the great Buster Cooper, for DYTE’s fall show in October 2010!

Madyson’s passion to perform and perfect her craft pushes her to excel and explore different areas of expression. Her future plans include attending college, pursuing a career in dance and having a family.

A summer of tap. I can’t think of anything I would have rather done, or anywhere I would have rather been, then with a group of people who are as passionate about the art form as I am. With the support of the Dance Council of North Texas, I was able to experience three tap workshops that were new to me – two are an integral part of the history of tap and the third a relatively new summer intensive for tappers. 

Soul to Sole in Austin, Texas 

I had the distinct honor to take classes from Acia Gray, Barbara Phillips, Matt Shields, Nicholas Young, Travis Knights, and Jay Fagan. I have had the opportunity to work with many of these instructors before, but there was just something special about being in the home of “Tapestry” Tap Company. All of these teachers inspired and challenged me. It is difficult to separate one from the rest – since I must – I have to say that Acia Gray inspired me in a way that was different from the rest. Acia is fiercely passionate, confident, and committed. You can see it in everything she does. This sort of love and dedication is inspiring and unique! 

Third Coast Rhythm Project in San Antonio, Texas 

Dianne “Lady Di” Walker, Derick Grant, Barbara Phillips, and Acia Gray continued to inspire me. 

Dianne Walker is a true genius. The life experiences that she so openly shares bring an emotional, intimate feel to her classes. Her flawless, gentle, effortless style is so different from my style that it helps me to hear, feel and understand a different style of tap. 

The biggest surprise for me was having the opportunity to perform my solo “Voices in My Head” (choreographed by the phenomenal Katelyn Harris) in the solo showcase. I was humbled (and scared to death) to perform for a group of people that I have so much respect and admiration for. 

Syncopate in East Hanover, New Jersey 

Nick DiNicolangelo, Chloe Arnold, George Patterson, Emily Shoemaker, Danny Wallace, and Lauren Truby. 

Nick DiNicolangelo has choreographed my competition tap solos for me since I was 8 years old. His choreography has motivated and challenged me as a performer and a technician. I have taken his classes at Adrenaline Dance workshops for many years, but this is the first chance I have had to work with him in such an intense setting. I am inspired by Nick’s heart, his humor and his love for what he does. Nick is the first person who truly gave my feet a voice and fueled a drive inside of me to want more. 

Another instructor who challenged and inspired me was Emily Shoemaker. This is the first time I took classes from Emily. She is open and honest. Emily expressed to us what tap has meant to her throughout her life. I felt connected to her life experiences and how important tap has been to her. It was easy for me to understand her passion – a passion that comes from her soul. Tap comes from my soul – not just my feet. It isn’t just about the steps; it’s about where it comes from. 

The biggest surprise for me was that I felt that I had an opportunity to inspire other tappers and that was a great feeling! 

It is my goal in every class I take, to push myself outside of my comfort zone. Not just in regard to mastering new, more difficult steps, but to also explore different avenues of expression. Another goal is to meet new people and train with new instructors – these workshops give me the opportunity to strengthen existing bonds and establish new relationships; relationships that will be with me throughout my life. My expectation every time I take a class is that I will learn something new. No matter how big or small - I will come out with something that I didn’t walk in with. My summer experiences helped me to reach all of those goals and exceeded all of my expectations. 

Thank you to Mr. Buster Cooper for always being an inspiration. Thank you to the Dance Council of North Texas for giving me opportunities that have enriched my heart and my mind, as well as my feet. These experiences are the ones I will remember always. 

~ Madyson Bauer