Pamela Hetherington is a professional tap musician, choreographer, educator, and artistic director working in Philadelphia, her hometown.
As a child, she trained with the Next Generation Dance Theater, directed by the late Stephan Love, who recognized her passion for tap and connected her with many great tap teachers in Philadelphia, including Leon Evans, Delphine Mantz, LaVaughn Robinson, and Robert F. Burden, Jr. At the age of sixteen, she joined Tap Team Two & Company, under the direction of Robert F. Burden, Jr. and performed with that company from 1996-2011, in major theaters and festivals all over Philadelphia and the East Coast. Those experiences pushed her to imagine and produce dozens of tap dance and live music events in Philadelphia, starting in 2008. In 2014, she founded Take It Away Dance, a touring company of tap dancers and jazz musicians. Her original choreography for Take It Away Dance has been presented by Jazz Bridge, The Philadelphia Jazz Project, Fringearts, Creative Philadelphia, Dixon Place, Rittenhouse Soundworks, the Barnes Foundation, The Fillmore Philadelphia (Zakarak Productions), the Allentown Art Museum and Symphony Space (Stam-Pede/APAP).
Pam works consistently as a solo artist and her current focus is on creating deeply musical duets with female musicians and artists, including pianist and vocalist, Dena Underwood; violinist, Mandy Wolman; vocalist and percussive dance artist, Jenny Herzog and piano-vocalist, Erica Corbo, with whom she has created a new original concert entitled "Glittering." (2018) The collaborations have been presented recently by The Outlet Dance Project (Sound and Strings - 2017) and Dixon Place (8 in Show - 2017). A new avenue of interest is music composition: her first original jazz composition for tap dance was published in the Philadelphia Real Book, 1st Ed. and 2nd Ed. (2017, 2019). Pam has been invited to speak about tap dance and jazz music in Philadelphia, on a variety of nationally-syndicated programs, including Articulate (WHYY) and The Arts Desk (WRTI), and she was recently recognized in the May 2017 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine.
Pam is a consistently visible ambassador for tap dance in Philadelphia and considers accessibility to the arts one of her deepest passions. Starting in 2008, she founded and directed eleven installments of the community tap and jazz music series, Philly Tap Teaser, which has now scaled into The Philadelphia Community Tap Project, a slate of educational and performance programs which are accessible to anyone the Philadelphia area. Through this platform, she produced and presented brand-new work by the leaders of tap dance, including Heather Cornell, Dorothy Wasserman, Jane Goldberg, Max Pollak and Ray Hesselink. Through The Philadelphia Community Tap Project, since 2015, she organizes and produces the city-wide celebration for National Tap Dance Day. On behalf of her work for The Philadelphia Community Tap Project, she has received artistic support from the Barra Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Small but Mighty Arts, and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.
A dance instructor since 1998, her first job as an 18-year-old teacher was leading the tap program at Chestnut Street Dance Academy (now Urban Movement Arts) in downtown Philadelphia. In the twenty years since then, she has honed her craft by leading hundreds of classes and directing performing arts programs, for people of all ages, at studios, recreation centers, universities, summer camps, public schools, private schools, festivals, conventions and more on the East Coast. A few of her notable dance education positions include: Villanova University, University of Pennsylvania, The Baldwin School, Abington Friends, Millennium Dance Complex Philadelphia, DEA Youth Dance Program, Charlottesville Department of Recreation, Millville School District, West Park Cultural Center and The Arc of Philadelphia. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania, where she is an active member of the Performing Arts Council, and a Master's Degree in English from University of Virginia. Since 2015, she has owned and directed Sound Space Performing Arts, a percussive dance space in North Philadelphia, where she instructs dozens of classes a week and spearheads new initiatives that keep tap dance alive in Philadelphia.