Kelsey Leonard (pictured left) is a master’s candidate at Gallatin. Her thesis argues that racial politics, in addition to other factors, are the reason that tap dance in America is not respected, despite its long-standing history and the global community that exists for tap. While completing her master’s degree, Kelsey has continued her work with Portland Tap Alliance, an Oregon-based nonprofit which promotes the art of tap dance. She is passionate about sharing the beauty of tap dance and her dancing embodies this and a soulful expression of musical communication.
Meraki: a word modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love—when you put something of yourself into what you’re doing, whatever it is. “Meraki” is an excerpt from Love Notes to Tap Dance, the performance of Kelsey’s artistic thesis at Gallatin. Love Notes to Tap Dance is dedicated to the love and passion of tap dancers and to the tap community. It exemplifies the richness in the art form through musical commination. “Meraki” was created as an expression of the beauty of friendships that are forged through tap.