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Interview with Heather Cornell

Published on November 7th 2019 by Hillary-Marie

Heather Cornell is known for her deeply musical approach to the art form of tap dance. An intuitive musician known for her impeccable time and emotional phrasing, Heather’s recent endeavors have been in creating music ensembles where she functions as the percussionist. Originally from Canada and now living in new York, Heather has traveled the world educating tap dancers and audiences at large. Known for her innovative collaborations on original music for tap, Ms. Cornell was the only tap dancer chosen and mentored by the infamous bassist, Ray Brown. She is the artistic director and choreographer for the acclaimed Manhattan Tap,  one of the busiest music/dance companies in the world in the 80’s and 90’s. Through this company Ms. Cornell became known as one of the mover’s and shaker’s of the tap dance renaissance and was credited for creating a style of choreography dubbed as “visual music” by the NY Times. I recommend you go to ManhattanTap.org to read more about her story, but only after you check out this beautiful interview. 


1:37 What did year one of Tap Labs look like?

8:22 Supporting the local community through the art of tap dance

14:00 Demystifying tap dance for the general public

20:37 The fear of improvisation

36:38 How frustration can fuel you to push forward

43:00 Bringing tap back to the main stage

45:37 The Cookie-Cutter format of Tap Festivals

1:03:10 Upcoming Oral History by Lincoln Center

A friendly reminder to head on over to ManhattanTap.org to check out Heather’s story, video of her work and information on her Tap Labs for the coming Summer Season. 

You can also catch Heather in the iTapOnline Community Facebook Group. She’s super active, offers great insight and conversation to the Community, so make sure you head on over to iTapOnlineCommunity.com to get here, or type iTapOnline Community into your Facebook app and join us over there

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