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Tap into a different dance style with Carolina Tap Ensemble

Carolina Tap Ensemble.jpg

The members of the Carolina Tap Ensemble

Photo courtesy of Kalina MacKay

Carolina Tap Ensemble is a student-led dance company dedicated to building a community of tap dancers at UNC. This group offers advanced tappers an opportunity to perform in local showcases, choreograph routines, develop skills and build camaraderie with other tap-dance lovers on campus throughout the school year. 

After auditions in the fall and spring, the company begins working on routines for performances at on-campus events throughout the semester and starts preparing for the annual group showcase that will be held on April 4 in the Student Union Great Hall.

Kalina Mackay, a junior and president of the dance company, said CTE is a small group and has only been around six years, which is new compared to other on-campus dance organizations. This particular organization is special because it is the only UNC dance group that performs exclusively tap. 

“I think the founders just really wanted to create a group that was specific for tap so that we could improve our skills in specifically tap because it’s a really different style than everything else,” Mackay said. “It’s a pretty small community on campus, but we have 30 members, so there’s definitely a space for it.” 

Mackay said the group is completely student-led and that CTE members choreographed all five of the routines created this semester. She said the group focuses on collaboration and that anyone in the group, no matter what year, can lead choreography.  

Allie Bennett, junior and treasurer of CTE, said the group is all about having fun and building friendships. She loves how everyone in the club is diverse with different majors and backgrounds, but that all members can come together to bond through their passion for tap dancing. 

“I think it’s fun to bond with people that have a similar love and interest as you do,” said Katelyn Mottesheard, senior vice president of performance for CTE. 

All the executives said being a part of a dance company can be time-consuming and that dedicating time to dance practice during the busy semester can be strenuous. However, tap can be a solace among the stressful school environment and gives them a break from work or assignments. 

“It’s such an escape from everything and you can just forget about everything else,” McKay said. “You forget about all of the school work and you just get to focus on the rhythms of your shoes. It’s something so simple that it’s a really great feeling.”