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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Dance

Kentuckians in Dance

Tap Dancer/Artist-in-Residence Kacey Frazier
Louisville, KY


Who Kacey Frazier grew up in Shelby County, Kentucky and has been dancing since she was 4 years old. She especially enjoys tap dancing. She spent many years studying classical ballet and modern dance and holds a bachelor's degree in theater arts from Eastern Kentucky University. Since 2001, Kacey has been an artist-in-residence, teaching creative dance, jazz dance, and dance history in Kentucky public schools. She also teaches tap dance to adults. In the Dance Arts Toolkit, Kacey teaches the “Exploring Time” model lesson on the Teaching Creative Dance video/DVD. She also contributed lesson plans and other ideas for several sections of the binder.

What “I teach a lot of different kinds of dance, and I also teach about the new dance forms that resulted when African and European dance met.”

When/Where “I teach during the day in public schools. I'll do a residency for two days, five days, or ten days. I also teach an after-school dance class for kids at one school.”

How “I grew up doing the kind of tap dancing you see in Broadway shows—rhythm tap. It's more related to jazz, not cute and prepackaged. It's very much based on improvisation, and that's where tap started. Guys would just jam together. The biggest challenge in working in schools is classroom management skills.”

Why “I am enthralled by rhythm.... I love hearing different sounds and figuring out how that will come out in my feet. I also love jazz music. I use hip-hop and get kids dancing. I love letting kids in on where tap came from. It's a combination of Irish step dancing and African dance, and it happened here in America because people were living next to each other who had never lived next to each other before. Tap is a purely American dance form because we're such a melting pot.”

Getting There “Take classes from as many different teachers as possible, and study as many different styles as you're interested in. Whatever dance form you're studying, find out where it came from. Is it different from the way it was 100 years ago? How is it different? When I started looking at where tap dance came from, it became a whole lot more fascinating to me.”

600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951