Winner 2004

Nursery Tap, Hip to Toe

Nursery Tap, LLC

Nursery Tap, Hip to Toe is a delightful children’s program that manages to introduce young children to the world of performing arts through the use of familiar (and sometimes not-so-familiar) nursery rhymes. Narrowing down the hundreds of available rhymes that have been passed down orally for centuries to a precious few (thirty, to be exact), Nursery Tap‘s creator/producer/director/vocalist Juleen Murray Shaw, with the assistance of associate producer/dancer Brynn Bromley, tinkered with the traditional oration of these rhymes to coordinate with rhythms that were compatible with tap, ballet, and even hip hop dance genres. This innovative approach to the visual/aural experience is something Murray Shaw refers to as “layered learning,” because the small child is simultaneously experiencing and assimilating the musicality of the spoken word and the art and physicality of dance. This series of short dance scenes (which are filmed from the waist down to keep the child’s focus on the dance moves), is complemented by the modest by highly imagination-invoking set made of an 8’ x 8’ stage, felt background pieces, and the excellent lighting work of David Hoskins, who is also the cinematographer/editor. The costumes, designed by Ms. Murray Shaw with the assistance of Felicia Miller, are understated, yet visually stimulating and often quite beautiful. The dancers, Bromley and choreographer Krystal McMullin, perform the three distinctly different dance numbers seemingly effortlessly, while avoiding the use of moves too complicate for small children to replicate. Executive producers Juleen Murray Shaw and Mathew Shaw put together a wonderful ensemble of performing arts talent to create this highly interesting and unique offering to the world of children’s programming, and for this the Board presents Nursery Tap, Hip to Toe with a Peabody Award.