Tapping into the spotlight
Aaron Tolson brings tap dance to the Palace
By Heidi Masek firstname.lastname@example.org
Manchester native and tap dancer Aaron Tolson spent six years performing in Riverdance. That took him to Broadway. He also helped create a show in Chicago, Imagine Tap, with his friend Derrick Grant, according to Emily Tolson. Aaron is now on the dance faculty at Plymouth State University.
Aaron wants to bring his experiences back to his hometown, Emily said. He’s presenting Something to Tap About, an all-tap show with live music, at the Palace Theatre on Friday, Jan. 9, at 7:30 p.m.
“You won’t see a lot of tap shows that come around, period, but especially not to New Hampshire,” Emily said.
“I’m kind of putting my shoes back on,” to be in this performance, Emily said. She tap danced in pageant competition and was crowned Miss New Hampshire in 2006 (as Emily Hughes). “That’s how Aaron and I met. He was my choreographer,” she said.
Something to Tap About will feature professional members of New England Tap Ensemble, a company Aaron started about two years ago with dancers from Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Emily said that it’s hard for tap dancers, once they leave their studios or college tap classes, to find a tap show to audition for right now.
The show will also feature members of New England Tap’s apprentice company, students from ages 10 to 18. Participating in the show gives them an idea of what performing really is, Emily said.
This showcase will be “really upbeat, with [a] lot of fast footwork,” Emily said. Aaron is featured throughout.
The other professional tap dancers are from Massachusetts, and a few of the apprentices are from New Hampshire.
Aaron has been volunteering frequently at the Palace and is excited to bring his own show there, Emily said. They hope to turn this show into a continued run and bring it to the Palace and other New England theaters on a regular basis, she said.
Emily has a master’s degree in elementary education and teaches second grade in Bedford. She took time off from tap while concentrating on other demands, such as finding a teaching position. Now, she said, she can “hopefully start a tap journey of my own.”
The Palace is at 80 Hanover St. in Manchester. Call 668-5588 or visit www.palacetheatre.org for tickets, which cost $27.