When thinking about what attracts artists from all part of the world to admire America, it’s likely that we all think about the same thing; Tap dancing. What, that’s not what you were thinking about? If you were to ask dancer Adela Azses, it seems to be all that she thinks about. While America boasts many great live venues for dance and countless opportunities, Azses feels that Tap is the most original and expressive of these. She’s made herself a mainstay of the scene, particularly in New York City, America’s biggest and most diverse dance scene. Performing original works by NYC’s most progressive choreographers and alongside other acclaimed dancers, the Mexican born Azses has a story which connects the dots from Hip Hop to Tap and proves that dance is one of Americas greatest cultural gifts in modern times.
Years ago, when Adela accidently came across a video of dancers at the Broadway Dance Center, she was smitten by the idea. Enrolling in classes at a studio in Mexico City, Azses quickly excelled and compete in contest such as the Tap Festival Guadalajara and Dance Revolution in Merida, Mexico (where she won an Outstanding Dancer Scholarship for tap). Eventually she would make her way to New York City, the same location which had inspired her all those years ago. Adela describes, “New York is the ultimate destination for Tap dancers. The career here is different in terms of opportunities, prestige and diversity, especially as a tap dancer. It’s more respected and at the same time more competitive; all of which makes it more attractive.”
In her time among the NYC dance scene and community, Adela has performed with such prestigious ensembles as Tap Life Company and presented choreographed originals works at the NYC Choreographers Forum and 92nd Street Y Showcase. The lineage from the iconic Bill Bojangles Robinson (father of Tap dance) to modern day dancers like Azses requires a constant state of combining the work of the masters with new ideas. Adela informs, “I feel like every artist has the pressure within themselves of succeeding and being good enough to make your passion your career. But particularly, as a tap dancer, my experience has been more of community than competition. I have encountered a filed and a community that is very supportive, rather than competitive. I often have this feeling of mutual inspiration and the encouragement from teachers and choreographers that there is room for everyone, because in the end, everyone brings something different, and the reason the tap community is as beautiful as it is, it’s because they celebrate diversity and they understand that you can always learn from one another rather than competing. I feel the relationship between dancers is more about building community rather than rivalry.”
For Azses and so many of her fellow professionals, dance is a magical place. It exists in the creative arts but demands of them physically in the same manner as with pro athletes. It demands from the soul and from the corporal form. As with many of her peers, the toll on her body has been trying at moments but the inspiration of art and community drives her to overcome. She eloquently relates, “The satisfaction of creating sounds with my feet while moving and expressing myself is the best feeling in the world. It’s a form of communication that allows me to say everything without using any words and the only place were making noise is the most beautiful thing. I can just tap for hours and the time goes by so fast, it transports me to a different place. If I’m sad it makes me feel better and if I’m happy it makes me happier. It helps me cope with my problems and emotions on so many levels. Sharing the dance floor with other people, sharing the energy and having a conversation; you reach a whole new level of connection, bigger than with any other form of human interaction.”