On Saturday April 9, Wellesley On Tap presented “Tap Me Baby One More Time,” their first performance since the start of the pandemic. As hinted by the title, the theme of this year’s show was “Divas of the 21st Century,” and the group performed tap arrangements of songs by Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Lizzo and Ariana Grande, among others.
“We like to keep our titles and our shows just really fun and upbeat, and there are only so many songs that are appropriate to really tap to, you need to have a strong beat. The title came from ‘what’s a good pun we can make?’ So that’s how we get ‘Tap Me Baby One More Time,’” Zoe Owens ’22, Wellesley On Tap’s president, explained.
This is the first live performance for many of the organization’s members and only the second live performance for the seniors.
“We haven’t had a show since my [first] year. We did ‘Hot Tap Time Machine’ and we haven’t been able to perform since. We have tried to share our dances through various pathways … Tik Tok, Instagram, trying to bring the joy of tap to Wellesley,” On Tap’s Vice President Mackenzie Jordan ’22 said.
In addition to staying active through social media, Wellesley On Tap was able to keep practicing and meeting as a group through the pandemic.
“We were setting up for our spring performance when we got told to go home, so rest in peace ‘I Want It Tap Way.’ Because of the way we’re structured, we never had more than 10 people practicing at any one time, so we were able to have in-person practices all throughout last year. Due to that, we were able to cultivate a nice community and it’s great, especially for tap because it’s something you can’t really do over Zoom,” Owens said.
Sophia deCubellis ’23, Emma Kotar ’24, Yoonseo Lee ’25 and Gabby Mackiewicz ’24 noted the strong community and welcoming nature of On Tap as one of their favorite parts of the organization.
“Anyone in Tap who wants to choreograph can choreograph. There’s an open choreography policy, which I think is a really great thing about our organization. The choreographer picks the songs and then, as long as they’re on beat, they’re in the show,” deCubellis said.
“It’s really interesting to see people’s different choreography styles because there are people who really focus on the musicality, versus other people who are a bit more lyrical with it,” Owens added.
Wellesley On Tap requires no previous tap or dance experience to join the organization, and they provide tap shoes to anyone who is interested.
“I really liked being able to come with no materials, no experience and then being able to do a show only a few months after I started.” Penelope Gordon ’25 said.
Owens also encouraged anyone who is interested in tap to join.
“You shouldn’t be worried about cost or skill level. We’re really here to work with you and just give you the experience of tap dancing.”