Tapping to the rhythm

Since he was 4 years old, Christopher Erk knew he was going to become a dancer.

Erk, who teaches Tap Dance I at Sinclair Community College, said once he began tapping, he never wanted to do anything else.

“When I was 10, I knew I wanted to (tap dance) professionally,” Erk said.

Erk is finishing up his first tap class at Sinclair. He said teaching tap to other just made sense.

“I have 12 years of experience and I moved to a city where I have no network at all,” he said. “So I just tapped into whatever resource I had. It all kind of fell into place.”

After years of training and lessons, Erk dropped out of high school and traveled the world after joining a professional tapping tour called Tap Dogs. Erk said after he spent five years with Tap Dogs, he lived in New York City for six years as a tap choreographer and instructor.

“I did everything from choreographing shows for large corporations to choreographing presidential inaugurations,” he said. “Living in New York gave me a taste of everything I could. I was teaching lot, so I developed a joy and a knack for teaching.”

So how did Erk end up at Sinclair? Erk said his girlfriend is originally from Oakwood.

“She got a job in the city, got injured, and ended up having to come home,” he said. “This was the best place for her to heal.”

Erk said he earned his GED in Connecticut and is now a full-time student at Sinclair. Along with teaching at the college, Erk teaches at Wright State University and a few local dance studios. Erk also owns his own tap dancing company, the Tap Factor.

“It’s a place for anyone who is interested to come together … cultural exchange, community outreach, music appreciation and self-appreciation are some of the things we do,” he said.

Erk spent some his afternoon on March 2 in the tunnel that connects the parking garage to Building 3 and 4. Erk tapped while students walked to and from the parking garage in an attempt to drive interest in his class. Erk said his idea at Sinclair is to strongly promote tap dancing and get the recreational dancers involved in the class.

“If you’ve ever wanted to tap dance or thought you could tap dance, the class is good for everybody,” Erk said. “The way that I teach it provides the foundation … It’s easier than you think. It’s just a matter of learning the ABCs.”

Erk said students not sure about the class could check out his Youtube channel at youtube.com/themoneyfoot or e-mail him at christopher.erk@my.sinclair.edu.

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