About

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Claire Miller is a tap dance performer, choreographer and educator based in London.  As one of the most promising dancers to emerge from the UK tap scene in recent years, Claire is most proud of her work for the internationally acclaimed Tapestry Dance Company based in Austin TX, for which she performed in multiple productions under the direction of Acia Gray, including “Just Tap” and “Of Mice and Music: A Jazz Nutcracker”.

Claire regularly performs improvised work with live Jazz music and has made notable appearances in London at Ronnie Scott’s, The South Bank Centre and Zigfrid Von Underbelly with the Michelle Drees Trio; in New York at Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club; in Austin TX at The Highball with the Copa Kings; and in Barcelona at Sala Vivaldi.  In addition Tapestry, Claire’s ensemble credits include compositions by Nicholas Young at Stockholm’s Scala Theatre and by Roxanne Butterfly at Barcelona’s Juste Debout festival.

Claire began her multi-form dance education aged 4, studying ballet, jazz and tap at the Jeanine Greville Dance Academy.  She went on to build a successful career as a competitive figure skater, winning the British Novice Ice Dance Championships in 2006, age 14, and placing in the top 10 for Junior Ladies solo free skating later the same year.  When her aspirations were cut short due to injury, Claire turned her attention to academia and graduated from University College London with a First Class Honours Degree in History and the Dean’s List Award for outstanding academic achievement.  During this time she developed an interest in philosophy and journeyed across Asia to explore non-western perspectives.

When she returned to the UK, she began to search for an artistic means for self-expression and discovered a talent for tap.  This unconventional entry into the professional tap scene was and continues to be her greatest strength.  With a proven ability to develop as an artist at an unusually quick rate, particularly in terms of technical proficiency, emotional connection and musical awareness, her journey to professional performance was supported by numerous fellow performers and musicians and opportunities such as a scholarship to study at Stockholm International Tap Festival.

Claire has been influenced by many different teachers and mentors such as Acia Gray, Roxane Butterfly, Heather Cornell, Nicholas Young, Jason Samuels Smith and Michelle Dorrance to name only a few and her favourite historical inspirations are Jimmy Slyde, Baby Laurence, Gregory Hines and Steve Condos.

 

 

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Classes

Adult Beginner and Intermediate Level

Fridays 7.30 – 8.30 @ The Arcola Theatre, Dalston

£10 plus free entry to Tiger Rag all evening

All are welcome!

Learn the principles of good technique, understand how to break down complex rhythms and get comfortable with the all the basic steps.

This class is perfect for dancers that are new to tap or want to get solid foundations for more advanced work. Absolute beginners are welcome!

What will we do in class?

In each class we focus on core tap vocabulary and learn to use it in a variety of ways musically and stylistically. We draw inspiration from historical tap dancers such as John Bubbles, Jeni Le Gon, The Nicholas Brothers, Bill Robinson, Steve Condos, Eddie Brown and many more Masters of Tap.

Occasionally we learn extracts from their work that have been captured on film or passed down through the tap dance lineage. If you’re a fan of vintage Tap clips you’re in the right place!

We also consider technical ideas, such as weight shifts and relaxation, as a tool for creating great tonality and to give us access to faster tempos in the future.

What level is the class?

This class is perfect for beginners with some dance experience to intermediate dancers.  We cover the basics from scratch and then progress to more complex variations for anyone who is looking to challenge themselves.

Dancers with some experience in Tap are encouraged to come down, particularly if you have not yet explored relaxed technique, as securing the basics will help you take your dancing to the next level.

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothes that you can move around in and be prepared to get a little bit sweaty! If you have tap shoes, wear them. If you want to try class a few times before investing in a pair, the best alternatives are lace up dress shoes like oxfords. Go for a shoe with a small heel and that will make a sound.

If you are looking to buy a pair of tap shoes, check out Bloch, Capezio for some good options from affordable beginner shoes to professional quality.  Avoid heels, split soles and rubber on the sole of the shoe if possible.  I wear K360s by Capezio and sometimes the Jason Samuels-Smith shoes from Bloch.

Private Lessons

I have a rehearsal space in Stoke Newington, specifically designed for tap dance, which I use or private lessons and practice.

Please contact me on the form below if you would like to arrange a private lesson or have any questions about classes.