Expanding Relationships

Successful K-State program expanding across the world.

Tap to Togetherness, an innovative new university program being advanced through philanthropic gifts, is already so successful that it will soon be expanded to Africa, Kuwait and Cuba.

The K-State Tap Dance Ensemble partners with Parents as Teachers, a community-based program, to bring local families a series of tap dance classes. These classes are offered to any family in Parents as Teachers who has a child younger than three years old.

The primary goals of Tap to Togetherness are to boost self-esteem, enhance family relationships, identify sensory needs of children and address these needs through tap dance sessions. The program will be working abroad with universities, cultural centers and other family organizations, sharing the Tap to Togetherness program and teaching tap dance master classes.

Julie L. Pentz, associate professor of dance, began the program in spring 2015, combining her teaching experience with research methods used to study the results of the tap dance classes. 

“In the fine arts and humanities departments we are establishing through rigorous research and analysis that not only dance but tap dance is making a difference in families’ lives,” Pentz said. “The sooner you can identify sensory needs in children, the sooner you are able to get that child and family resources to put that child on a path for success.”

Once the program expands to Ghana, Tap to Togetherness will be implemented with families and dance teachers at the Dagara Music Center, at the University of Ghana and with the dancers at the National Theatre of Ghana.  

“In addition, I will be teaching methods courses to the dance teachers at the Dagara Music Center,” Pentz said. “It is our hope that I will further strengthen K-State’s relationships within all areas.”

Faculty and student researchers are collecting and analyzing data for the project, furthering the educational goals and experiences of the involved students.

Philanthropic gifts from alumni and friends allow the research efforts of the undergraduate and graduate students taking part in this program to continue. These gifts also support the Innovation and Inspiration Campaign and drive K-State’s future toward our 2025 Vision: to become a top 50 public research university by the year 2025.

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Manny Ugwuegbu

Lauren Goodheart Student Gift Officer


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Darci Cain, CTFA Senior Director of Gift Planning