Proudly based in Toronto for over a decade, Allison Toffan has been busy stirring up momentum in the Canadian tap dance community. Recognized by the Canada Council for the Arts, FACTOR, and the Toronto Arts Council, she has been awarded grants as an emerging dance artist, developing musician, and choreographer. She’s studied privately with world-renowned tap dance artists Heather Cornell, Brenda Bufalino, and Max Pollak.
Career highlights include 8 years as a principle dancer with Turn On The Tap under the direction of Paula Skimin, 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies, Warehouse 13 Series Finale, Festival Dance Encore with Tri-tone/Tasha Lawson, 2013 TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival, TapCity’s Tap Internationals with Lisa La Touche (NYC), Montreal Tap Festival’s Rhythm Lives! – with living legend Arthur Duncan, and successfully producing three full seasons of work by establishing the Toronto Rhythm Initiative – a platform she created to consistently voice the artistry of Toronto’s tap dancers in collaboration with live music.
Teaching credits include Artist in Residence – Ottawa Rhythm Initiative 2012/13, Dance Faculty at Sheridan College, Randolph Academy, Montreal Tap Festival, Vancouver International Tap Festival, BC Performing Arts Festival, Manitoba Dance Festival, as well as multiple workshops across Canada and the US.
In 2014, Allison’s first commissioned work was presented at the Inaugural Toronto Body Percussion Festival for NextSteps Dance Series, performed in Lisa’s La Touche’s world premiere of Hold On at the Vancouver International Tap Festival, and closed up the year by joining forces with co-producers Soraya Peerbaye and Josh Grossman and to present a full-length concert of tap dance with his 18-piece big band, the Toronto Jazz Orchestra. She kicked off 2015 with her second mulit-city US tour with The StepCrew, a Celtic live music and percussive dance show that meshes Irish, Ottawa Valley step dance, and tap. Allison continues to produce work and educational opportunities with Toronto Rhythm Initiative, and is currently working on the next stage of development of the Big Band Tap Revue, funded in part by the Toronto Arts Council.
Allison is thrilled to join the faculty at Center Stage, and honoured to move forward with the existing tap foundation!