Updated: Jun 4, 2020
Anyone who meets our Executive Director, Eddy Kovac, will come to think one of two things: he is either out of his mind or he is extremely ambitious. When he met Artistic Director, Sarah P., they had an amazing connection that brought about the Mile High City Tap Festival. Sarah has learned that Eddy has a tireless drive and that he works at a very fast pace when he sets his mind to something. She has affectionately nicked named him “Maniac,” not because she thinks he is insane, but because he goes nonstop.
Eddy has a deep seated work ethic that stems from his passion for the dance and entertainment industry as a whole, coupled with his longing to prove to people that anything is possible. When he sets his mind to accomplish something he expects mountains to move and oceans to evaporate. When it became clear that our original plan to celebrate National Tap Day (a small in-studio event for maybe 40 people) was not going to happen, he decided we would do something BIGGER! Eddy presented his idea to do a “free all day live stream event" on a Facebook group he actually created (Tap Dancers Hub). He immediately connected with Chelsea Mae and pitched his Idea to her. She took the reigns on the Tap Dancer Hub side to help make it happen.
A THREE FOLD CORD CANT BE BROKEN
Eddy, would line up the amazing artists, Chelsea would work with them on the schedule, Sarah would do all the promotion and graphic designs. They spent countless hours and sleepless nights chatting about all event particulars. This would be the biggest live stream dance event to ever come to Facebook and we wanted it to be our gift to the Global Tap Community. We had our first three artists, but we needed to fill 18 total hours of time for two levels (Beg/Int and Int/Adv).
THE “VIRTUAL” ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS
To quote Lin-Manuel Maranda, most people want to ”be in the room where it happens.” This event is no different. Eddy has a very simple philosophy he lives by: If I want to work with someone the easiest way is to create the opportunity. He approached the amazing artists with this crazy idea, and was floored by how receptive all of our artists were. Yeah!
THE UNCERTAINTY SETS IN
OK! National Tap Day is the most important day of the year for the Tap Community because it marks the birthday of one our most important historical members, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. The problem was that National Tap Day fell on Memorial Day; we were unsure how many members of the community would participate. We continued to see the numbers of people RSVPing go up, We were worried that people would only attend the classes of the bigger names. Oh, how wrong we were!
GO DAY & THE COMMUNITY
It was fitting that Eddy and Tracy Hiltbrand opened up the event. They both have a solid following, which we hoped would support and jump online for class. Their turnout was so much bigger than expected. As they invited people to stick around, you did! As the day progressed we saw every artist with a minimum 25-50 people participating. At one point we noticed we had a couple of people running a class for 250 and 500 viewers. We had people participate from all over the US, Canada, the UK, France, Spain, South America and Australia. What?! Are you kidding us? So many of you stuck around ALL DAY and took full advantage of the depth of knowledge we brought together.
We were very intentional about Sarah closing out the day and even her last class (during dinner time on Memorial Day) had 100+ viewers. This was insane to us. As the day came to an end, we started getting flooded with messages from the community. “My feet hurt so bad, but it was worth it.” “I never thought I could tap dance for that many hours straight.” “I was not planning on spending my entire day doing this, but you guys put together all the people I wanted to take from, I’m going to be sore for a week, #totallyworthit.” We received more messages than we could respond to.
“I’M HAVING A MOMENT“
As Eddy sat in his car watching his son skateboard, he started looking through the 18 hours of videos that will forever be saved to honor a historical event that arose out of a history making global shutdown. He took in the totality of what his initial vision turned into. As he looked through the comments and responded to the messages from the community, he became overwhelmed with emotion. He sent a simple message to the artists, who we are so incredibly grateful for. With tears streaming down his face and happy he nobody could see him he texted...
We had always planned to release a t-shirt for people to have as a keepsake. When we started talking about the event we were awestruck by just how many of our amazing community stuck around for nine hours straight. You have to admit, tappers are some serious die hard people. We also know that this falls in line with the effect a Tough Mudder (like we have ever done one) might have on the body. We are so inspired by everyone that danced with us all day, we wanted to honor you with a slogan truly worthy of the effort: YOU SURVIVED the Mile High City Tap Fest’s (Inter)National Tap Day Celebration. We want people to be proud of their accomplishment. When people see the back and ask, “you survived what?” You have MAD bragging rights.
To our artists... We truly appreciate you more than we can say.
To the global community... we love you and are so grateful for your support. ❤️❤️❤️