Tap Preservation Awards

The annual Tap Preservation Award is given to an outstanding individual or organization in the field,

for the superior advancement of tap dance through presentation and preservation.


2015 - Al Heyward is a native born New Yorker, from East Harlem. Al still resides in New York City.

Along with his favorite musical team, Rogers and Hart, Heyward’s love for music was born in the 2nd grade at PS39. In Junior High School, he was a part of the first ever boro-wide chorus of Manhattan, led by Dizzy Gillespie’s best friend; John Motley. Al Heyward got involved with Tap Dancing after watching the Great “Peg Leg” Bates at the Apollo Theater, and Fred Astaire in “Million Dollar Movie”. 

At Baruch College, he joined Playrads, a theater group, and appeared in several plays including “The Lion In Winter”, “Boys In The Band”, and several musical concerts. After college, Al worked for many not-for-profit organizations,  Montefiore Medical Center, and is currently on Faculty at Manhattan College.

In Mr. Heyward’s free time, he became involved in The National Musical Theater, with Executive Director Paulette Attie. He also helped produce several musical reveues. After the National Musical Theater, he became involved with the Black Patti Foundation, headed by Delilah Jackson. Al has been involved in every production of “Tap Extravaganza”, the celebration of National Tap Dance Day (May 25th) since its inception. Through Delilah Jackson, he met Jean Bach, the “Queen of Jazz” and Producer of “A Great Day In Harlem”. Mr. Heyward received an on-screen credit from Ms. Bach for helping on the production. Through Ms. Jackson, Al met Nobuko ‘Cobi’ Narita. With Ms. Narita, he has co-produced the Queen’s version of “Tap Extravaganza” and the regular “Tap Extravaganza” for the last few years. Al Heyward is the recipient of the American Tap Dance Foundation’s 2015 Tap Preservationist Award. 

American Tap Dance Foundation

American Tap Dance Center

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Phone 646-230-9564
Fax 646-230-7777
Email: info@atdf.org

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