Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Theatre and Dance

Document Type



Tap dance is an American art form that began with the blending of traditional dance styles from English and Irish immigrants and African slaves. Throughout the 20th century, tap dance developed many styles in response to cultural changes that took place. Contemporary tap dance emerged in the latter half of that century and continues developing today with the fusion of other dance genres and new technologies. This research examines tap dance history to create an understanding of how it developed through a historical lens and analyzes the current approaches applied to the artform along with the characteristics and creative processes of influential contemporary tap dance figures. I utilized this research to influence my choreography and discover my own artistic voice within the genre.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Amanda Clark, M.F.A.


American Popular Culture | Dance | Performance Studies | Women's Studies

Wilham_Elise_Free to Express.mp4 (60878 kB)
Free to Express

Wilham_Elise_Unsettled.MP4 (849434 kB)