The name SLC Tap has stood for many things. Overall it stands for Debby's history in Salt Lake City as a tap professional over the past twenty-five years. SLC Tap was a performing group for several years, but the name also represents Debby's decades of dedicated teaching, producing events, workshops, performing, and generally promoting the growth of tap dance. Her work has introduced tap dancers to one another, brought them together, broadened technical skills, increased tap's exposure and laid the groundwork for a tap community to exist. Today Debby is still a total advocate for the art of tap dance in Utah!
Some background: Debby moved to Utah 30 years ago from New York City, where she was deeply involved in the rhythm tap scene starting in 1979. After receiving her Master’s degree in Dance Education from Columbia University, she trained in the jazz-tap style now known as rhythm tap, studying with such masters as Brenda Bufalino, Charles “Cookie” Cook, Honi Coles and Gregory Hines. Robertson performed with Bufalino and was an original member of her company, the American Tap Dance Orchestra. She also performed for several years with Anita Feldman, and was a founding member of the company NYCTapworks. Over the years she has shared the stage and/or collaborated with tap artists Brenda Bufalino, Tony Waag, Barbara Duffy, Josh Hilberman, Heather Cornell, Sara Petronio, David Parker and Katherine Kramer.
Though childhood dance studies were centered in tap, Robertson holds a BFA degree in modern dance from the University of Utah, and has taught at the college level for many years. In 2003 she was awarded an individual artist grant from the Utah Arts Council for a tap choreography project, the first local dancer to do so. She directed SLC Tap for several years, producing several concerts in collaboration with other dance artists. Some of the participating percussive dancers included Solange Gomes and Tablado (flamenco), Greg Tucker and the Rocky Mountain Cloggers, Colleen West's Foot Poetry Ensemble, the Shelley Irish Dancers, and many students of Janet Gray. Debby is the Utah representative for the International Tap Association.
Beginning in 2014 Debby began producing tap workshops and in that same year she received City Weekly’s "Arty" Award for “Best Tap Ambassador.” In 2016 she received a "special project" grant from the Utah Arts Council and Sugar Space Foundation in support of the Utah Tap Fest.
The Salt City Tap Fest of 2018 marked the sixth intensive tap workshop experience she has produced at Sugar Space in Salt Lake City. Bringing in special guests Brenda Bufalino and Dorothy Wasserman and involving performances, community involvement, classes, and a historic film screening represented a culmination of Debby's history promoting tap in Salt Lake City. No workshops are planned for the immediate future, but the doors are open for new ideas and events that continue to benefit and build Utah tap
Debby is proud to have encouraged, trained, and supported scores of Utah tap dancers.
May the next generation rise, thrive, and take tap to new heights!