Hoofer Awards

The annual Hoofer Award recognizes prominent tap artists as leaders in the community

for their unique contribution to the form and for inspiring future generations.


2007 - Deborah Mitchell proudly celebrates 13 years as Founder and Artistic Director of New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble.  This St. Louis, MO native is known throughout the New York area as a distinguished tap professional. She is the protégé of Leslie “Bubba” Gaines of the Copasetics and student of many tap masters including Broadway Choreographer Henry LeTang.   Her many credits include The Cotton Club Motion Picture, Broadway and Paris Productions of Black and Blue, PBS Great Performances, 5 international tours with the legendary Cab Calloway, and a partnership with Philadelphia native Germaine Goodson as The Rhythm Queens. Under the direction of Ms. Mitchell, New Jersey Tap Ensemble is one of the most prominent touring tap dance companies in the state of New Jersey.  Ensemble tours have included in New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Lincoln Center, Town Hall, and The Duke on 42nd Street, Tilles Center and the Joyce. She is producer of the NJTAP Touring Tap Boot Camp and participates annually in festivals such as the New York City Tap Festival, St. Louis Tap Festival and Traditions In Tap.   She was a guest panelist on the subject of tap as an American art form at the Dance in the Millennium Conference, Washington, D.C. and participates in national and international programs such as the International Tap Association that focus on the promotion and perpetuation of tap dancing. Having attained a Masters Degree in Social Work from Indiana University, Ms. Mitchell is a strong advocate for arts education. As a Principal Affiliate of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center for 6 years, she participated in the Center’s Dance Academy both as a tap an instructor and as a workshop facilitator.  Ms. Mitchell was instrumental in establishing tap dance as a technique to be offered to children participating in the Dance Academy. A master teacher and motivational speaker about the art form in many educational venues especially in New Jersey and throughout the tri-state, she also provides In-Service Training to teachers and dance educators throughout the tri-state area.   Ms. Mitchell is author, director and choreographer of the Doll Shop Arts in Education presentation musical specifically developed for school age children grades K-5th. An extension of her work with the NJ Tap Touring Ensemble is the Youth Company, the pre-professional division of the company serving young artists ages 12-17.  Ms. Mitchell is Chairman of the Tap Department of Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts, Montclair, NJ on the advisory Board of Tony Waag’s Tap City in NY and Assistant Director/Choreographer for Theater Workshop/Peppermint Players, Marie Foster, Director and a Board Member for Alliance for Arts Education/New Jersey. In recognition of National Tap Dance Day 2006, Savion Glover presented Ms. Mitchell with an award for giving tirelessly to the spirit and legacy of tap dancing.  In March 2007, Dean John Bedford and Jo Rowan, Dance Department Chairman of Oklahoma City University, Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts management presented her with the Living Treasure Award “for preserving our American culture in her feet, in her mind and in her spirit.”  In May 2007, Ms. Mitchell was chosen by The New York Committee to Celebrate National Tap Dance Day as one of the Flo-Bert Honorees.

American Tap Dance Foundation

American Tap Dance Center

154 Christopher Street #2B New York, NY 10014

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

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