Welcome to the JazzVille Blog! As a dancer I am constantly seeking inspiration from other artists, and of late i have become excited by a brilliant personality that is, world famous tap dance extraordinaire Sarah Reich.


Sarah 4Sarah has always been a rising star within the tap community, but of late with string of viral videos with Scott Bradley’s Postmodern Jukebox, her own Tap Music Project, multiple workshops and performances all over the globe she’s reached a new level of public success.

How impressive it is that at the age of 15 she was featured in an article “20 Hot Tappers Under 20” and was named one of the “25 To Watch” in the 2009 Dance Magazine article.

In the summer of last year we coincidentally met in New York at the Tap World Movie premier in Village East cinema. February 2016, when I found out PMJ were coming with the show to Cork, where I recently moved, I contacted Sarah to see if we can meet each other and maybe perform with the band. And that is how on February 28th we were sharing the stage at Cork Opera House and got to know each other better.

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I want to win a Grammy. I want to hear Tap on the radio, see it on TV. Everything!

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When I look at her I see this young, unbelievably energetic and ambitious woman, but most of all a generous and talented Lady. I’m always striving to improve my artistic life and find out how others are living.

Sarah has become a source for inspiration for me, and so naturally I was really excited to finally get to ask her some questions.

Was there any city you fell in love with on this trip?

I fell in love with Prague. Amsterdam was great as well. It was my first time in those cities. Was amazing to be in the city with so much history!

Generated by IJG JPEG Library
Generated by IJG JPEG Library

You have already visited so many places in America, in Europe, Asia, did you notice differences in audience, response to the concert and it’s elements, your dancing. Could you describe some of your impressions?

The best audience I’ve ever had was in Asia: in Singapore and Malaysia. Both those shows were absolutely insane! You could feel their energy. Each person was sitting at the edge of their seat. In Singapore for the closing song “All About That Bass” I called swing dancers up on stage to perform, you know, just to swing out, because there was so much energy. I told to the security guard: “Yo, bring them up!”.  Also Malaysia.., anything you do they freak out! You do a shoulder move and they go crazy! They loved every second.

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Every night  I do my best and I give it a 110% because the audience deserves that.

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I would love to mention Brussels on this tour. We performed in Brussels a week after attack. So our show almost got cancelled. And we were really bumped about it, because we did really want to play there. We were glad that we did get that opportunity in the end. And you could feel that people needed it. They needed an escape for the devastating reality. To be able to make them feel good, to dance, to sing, to feel happy again. It just reminds me why I do what I do. Times like that really make a difference. 

When you improvise on stage, what do you think about, how do you make your choices?

I am improvising, so yes, I am thinking but I am also NOT thinking. You know, I am clocking in to many things. I am clocking into my emotion: how I feel, do I particularly have a lot of energy that one night. If yes – cool, lets double time everything. If I want the drummer to chSarah 2ime in some more I would give him a look like “common’, let’s play this jam!”.


Usually when I get up on stage I get this rush of excitement anyways. And I never want to not give my all. Every night  I do my best and I give it a 110% because the audience deserves that. Because I want to do that for my art form, to get better. I still take every day to get better and to practice. Practice during soundcheck, during the show, watching the band from the backstage – is all a form of practice. 

I just take it all and then every night I expect to be different.

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I practice every day. Everything is a practice. Living the life is a practice.

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That’s a good challenge I have held for myself  – to be different every night because I do improvise on stage. Of course some things are set, like certain movements, breaks that I keep similar like in the video for the continuity, for the fans. But most of the time I improvise. I grew up improvising. Since I was 12. So I feel very comfortable improvising. And I am at a point where I can also challenge myself within it.

What’s cool about the PMJ band is that most of them do challenge themselves during the concert as well! It’s fun that way. And that inspires me even more.

We all see you as a eternally sunshine person with an incredible amount of solar energy! Are you ever tired and low,  how do you deal with it?

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I don’t really like to relax. It’s not really my personality to just stay in and chill. I like to go out and explore!

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The cool thing with tour is that we actually get a lot of sleep. We sleep on the bus and you wake up when you want. You don’t have any obligations until 4pm sound check. I get a decent amount of sleep, get good rest, wake up refreshed, go sightsee and then do the show. I am not too tired. And hopefully I’ll just keep it that way. And i am just a happy person in general. I am very thankful to be on this tour…I am constantly happy!

What do you do on your day off?

Yesterday we had a day off. I usually get excited about day off! But I don’t really like to relax. It’s not really my personality to just stay in and chill. I like to go out and explore!

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To be present. That inspires me. 

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Yesterday together with the pianist we got on the fairy and went to an island. We even took a hike there! You know, you can do so much on a day off. But I did go to bed earlier than 4am. Sometimes on a day off I take a massage or acupuncture treatment. As a dancer it’s very important to do that from time to time.

How much do you practice yourself and how do you practice (any specific ways, techniques)? Do you prefer to work/ practice solo or in a group, team?

Sarah 8I practice every day. Everything is a practice. Living the life is a practice. Who I am today or what I have experienced today will resonate when I tap dance. So all affect how tired, how inspired I am. Practice doesn’t always have to be so literal. But at soundcheck I do a lot of rudiment work, I stretch, I tap on other people’s songs when they soundcheck just so I can share other time signatures, other feel. After soundcheck I’ll stay and practice by myself, will do my own warm up. I’ll just improvise. 

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I am improvising, so yes, I am thinking but I am also NOT thinking.

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Everything is a form of practice. I am constantly hearing rhythms. I teach a lot during the tour, so I get to practice while I teach as well.

I do prefer to practice by myself versus group or a team. I like jamming with great tap dancers. But mostly I prefer to find my own sound and groove within myself. If any kind of musician is around – that’s always great!

Sarah, your creativity seems to have no limits! Recently you’ve started your own Tap Music Project. Tell us about it: what moved or inspired you to create it, what is it about essentially, how do you see it developing?

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Tap Music Project I started in about 2012 wanting to whole in on musicality of tap dance. I got together with some friends and we started working together. I choreographed a few a cappella pieces which we performed. And then I started to want to write music based from what I know as a tap dancer and how I hear things melodically. So I got together with Danny Janklow, saxophone player, and we wrote a song together in like an 1.5 or 2h! It was one of the most amazing experiences.

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I just pretty much recorded my first album.

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I love how music can affect someone. I want to continue to create good music, feel good music with taps. I want people to listen to rhythms and tap rhythms better. So that they can digest it better when they see it. I want people to want to go to a tap dance concert. I just pretty much recorded my first album. Which is amazing! But you know, it’s new for people to buy a tap record and listen to it. So that’s going to be a barrier to break. Not that it hasn’t been done before. It’s definitely been done before. It’s just not common at all.

What is the source of your inspiration?

My inspiration is Perspective.

I want to be aware of what is going on. How you approach life, situation, people. Whose energy is present. To be present – that inspires me. 

What are you plans for the future?

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I am going to do it all!  

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I see big things in the future. I want to win a Grammy. I want to hear Tap on the radio, see it on TV. Everything! I want to work with Top producers, creating beats for people, visual components. I have a lot of  aspirations with Tap Music Project. I want to go on tour with it eventually. It’s really exciting, I know it’s going to take time, because PMJ is keeping me busy and I love it all. And I am going to do it all. So I just have to plan strategically with my calendar.

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Find out more about Sarah Reich at

www.sarahreich.com

www.tapmusicproject.com

Sarah Reich YouTube

Postmodern Jukebox YouTube

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