Tap Dance is an American Art form, and at Lydia’s House-Cartier Williams Dance Program, it’s more than just dance. As one of our Community Grant Program recipients, the tap dance program at Lydia’s House teaches students the art of tap, introduces them to the world of classical music and exposes children to positive life images.
The Creative Arts Director and Lead Instructor at Lydia’s House, Cartier Williams, has performed for two United States presidents, co-starred in PBS specials and toured the U.S. and Japan in the Tony Award Winning, BRING in da’ NOISE, BRING IN ‘da FUNK.
As Cartier’s career and world view expanded, he noticed a gap in the afterschool offerings for children in the area saying, “I noticed a great need for African-Americans to learn the art of tap and wanted to create an environment for this type of give back.” Cartier teaches more than just tap to his students. He teaches that patience is a virtue, the art of multi-tasking, mathematics and the importance of meditation.
Cliff Beckford, Deputy Director at Lydia’s House, explains the value of the Events DC Community Grant saying, “The Events DC Grant afforded the creation of the Lydia’s House-Cartier Williams Dance Program. This out of school program provides a unique outlet to children learning the art of tap dancing. We have seen the participants enter with skepticism and migrate to enjoying this art form.
Through the Events DC Community Grant, Lydia’s House has been able to register 11 children who receive the professional tutoring of Mr. Cartier Williams himself. The program aims to continue to develop a strong tap-dancing presence in the District, promote healthy life choices and play a critical role in breaking the cycle of poverty.