The Richmond Academy of Dance - Celebrating 31 Years of Excellence

A headshot of Amy Burns.

Amy Burns

Tap Instructor

Amy has trained and performed extensively in tap, jazz, ballet, modern, contemporary and lyrical-jazz from a very young age, and has been teaching and choreographing tap full-time for manyyears throughout the Lower Mainland, Northern B.C. and annual Summer School programs on Vancouver Island. She has a long list of accomplishments and award-winning performances in Canada and the U.S. In 1998 Amy was chosen by audition to participate in the B.C. Festival of the Arts Tap/Stage Workshop in Powell River to train with Heather Cornell ofNew York City’s Manhattan Tap.

Her passion for tap leads her to train extensively each year, and for the past 23 years, in advanced and accelerated workshops and festivals throughout the U.S., and Canada. To name a few: “Tappin With theMasters” (Portland, Oregon, 1993); “The Seattle Tap Festival” (1994, 1995); “Minneapolis Tap Festival”(1998); “Minneapolis Legends of Tap” (2000); “The Edge” (Los Angeles, 2002); “The New York City Tap Festival”(2004); “Edmonton Tap Giants Festival” (2005); “Maui Tap Festival” (2006, 2007); “The Chicago Human Rhythm Project” (2007).

All of these festivals have given her the privilege to train with extraordinary historical world-renowned tap masters such as the late and legendary Jimmy Slyde, Heather Cornell (Manhattan Tap), Brenda Bufalino (American Tap Dance Orchestra), Dianne Walker (“Lady Di”), the late and legendary Cholly Atkins (Choreographer/Motown), Skip Cunningham, Lane Alexander, Terry Brock, Jason Samuels, Lisa LaTouche, Robert Reed, Terry Brock, the Vancouver legend Ms. Jeni LeGon, Bruce Stegman, Barbara Duffy, Chester Whitmore, Leelah Petronio, Mark Mendonca, Johnson & Peters, Lynn Daly, Chloe Arnold, Grant Swift, Mark Yonally, Yukiko Sashimi, Jimmy Payne, Acia Gray, Nicole Hockenberry among many, many others.

In 1998, Amy had the thrill of a lifetime, when she trained with legend extraordinaire Savion Glover and his brother Abron Glover (Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk) at the Minneapolis Tap Festival. She has also participated in the VTDS Tap Festival in Vancouver since its beginning and was privileged to perform in the 2003 VTDS Festival finale at the Vancouver Playhouse, It’s About Time, It’s About Tap. Since its inception and again this year, Amy has participated with her students in the International Tap Day performances in honour ofthe birthday of the legendary Father of Tap, Mr. Bill Bojangles Robinson.

In July of 2009, it was with great excitement that she and 22 of her students participated in the New York City Tap Festivalwhere they trained with world-renowned Masters and by audition, were chosen to perform their award-winning routines Off Broadwayto a sold-out theatre. That evening, it was Amy’s immense honour to be chosen as the recipient of the 2009 NYC Tap Festival Outstanding Teacher/Choreographer Award for her outstanding dedication and commitment to the art of tap dancing. In July of 2012, Amy also attended the Third Coast Rhythm Projectin San Antonio, Texas, where she took 20 of her students to train with various tap masters.

It is with great joy and pride that Amy couldnourish her own heartfelt passion and love of tap for many years amid her hectic schedule by performing professionally as a member of Vancouver’s Urban Tap Squad Company, throughout British Columbia and beyond. In February 2006, they performed in Vernon, and in September 2006, showcased part of their tour show, Urban Interludesto two sold-out audiences in The Vancouver Roundhouse.

It is Amy’s desire to share with her students of all ages, her diversified training, technique, musicality and rhythm, and most of all, her genuine love and passion for tap dance.Her renowned and unique choreography comes from within her soul and captures the very essence of tapand its beautiful rhythms speak to this beautiful and historical language. With her love of teaching children of all ages and adults, she foremost encourages fun and embracing the love and joy of tap, with patience and positivity. She teaches and encourages her students to ‘un-tap’ the joy of this wonderful instrument and music within them, to truly hear and articulate their own joyful noise.