The best place for a New York kid to learn about tap dancing is outdoors, without downstairs neighbors underfoot. Hence Tap Happens, an afternoon party of choreographers and dancers who will take to the stage on July 22 at Pier I, at 70th Street, in Riverside Park South, and invite kids to jam alongside the pros. Laraine Goodman, the director and a hoofer herself, notes that tap, though often thought of as a novelty, has been regaining respect in recent years. “Tap dancers were seen as comic form with racist stereotypes,” she explains. “Now it’s gained a deserved recognition, with festivals all over the world.” Oddly enough, those festivals have developed a controversy of their own: Tap City, one of the biggest, came to New York just last week without the field’s single biggest star, Savion Glover, who’s said he disapproves of the high entrance fees. On that front, Goodman notes simply, “Our event is free.”
7/22 from 2 to 4 p.m.; Riverside Park South, Pier I at 70th St., nr. Riverside Dr. (212-408-0219 or nyc.gov/parks); free.