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Grace Valentine writes about her experience of dancing with Tap Attack and the GB Tap Team

Hi, I’m Grace and I have been dancing at Hazelwood since the age of 3 doing ballet modern and tap.

In 2019 I successfully auditioned for Tap Attack and have been dancing with their Associate Company in Kent since Easter. Training sessions focus on technical and musical development and we have the opportunity to work with tap dancing professionals – ‘Tap Dogs’ and ‘Old Kent Road’ – from around the country, and a varying style of techniques.

Tap Attack was formed in 2006 by record breaking tap dancer Jo Scanlan and original Hot Shoe Shuffle and Tap Dogs cast member Dean Magri, with the aim of providing more opportunities and styles of tap dance throughout the UK via monthly workshops.

Every year Tap Attack represents Great Britain in the Tap World Championships and in June I successfully auditioned for the GB Tap Team which means I represented Great Britain at the World Championships in Riesa, Germany in November 2019.

My introduction to Team GB during the last ten days of the summer holidays involved meeting my fellow tap dancers and working on the dances for the World Championships. I started learning both my trio and formation dances that week. Tap Attack also hosted a three day intensive where we learnt a variety of new dances as well as new steps and time keeping skills. I trained every Sunday in Swindon with the team, doing our formation dance. One Sunday we were given the opportunity to have a class with Charles Renato, a renowned Brazilian Tap Dancer. He was absolutely incredible and I loved every minute of his class. People from all over Great Britain make up the team so we worked very hard to ensure that the maximum amount of work is completed each week. It was non-stop and I loved every minute. In October, the rest of the team and I stayed together for a two day residential. This gave us a chance to polish the dances, as well as get to know each other better before the competition in Germany.

Through dance I have met some amazing people and made some of my best friends both at Hazelwood and now at Tap Attack.

Grace Valentine (age 14)