Encore Performance
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Encore Performance
How One Woman’s Passon Helped a Town
Tap Into Happiness
“ Vicki Riordan writes with a song in her heart, and she taps into all the emotions, joys and challenges that inform women’s lives. Her dance program changes lives; her book will, too.”

      —Jeffrey Zaslow, New York Times
bestselling author of The Girls from Ames and
co-author of The Last Lecture

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Billy Elliot meets The Golden Girls
The inspiring true story of a woman who learned that it’s never too late to live the life you want.
s a young girl growing up in the 1950s in central Pennsylvania, Vicki Grubic Riordan idolized stars like Shirley Temple and Gene Kelly. She soon found her calling as a dance instructor, but like many baby boomers, she put her passion on hold to focus on starting a family. Only when her marriage ended and she was left with little means of support for herself and her two young sons did Vicki return to her first true love: teaching dance. In doing so, she found much more than a way to make a living: she found a way to make a difference. With her exuberant personality, infectious enthusiasm, and unwavering belief in the magic of movement to make even the darkest times better, Vicki has inspired thousands of women to do things they never dreamed possible.

At the age of sixty-two, when her peers were thinking about retirement, Vicki opened the doors to what has become America’s largest adult tap dancing studio. She has gone from teaching fifty students a year to teaching more than five hundred, and thanks to Vicki, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has become the unofficial tap capital of the world and the home of her celebrated “Tap Pups.” The majority of the women (and a handful of men) in her classes are in their fifties and sixties, but instead of yielding to the expec-tation that they’d be slowing down at this stage of life, tap has helped them to get in touch with their own natural rhythm.

Tap helped Anni, 56, get through a difficult divorce with grace. It gave Betsy a newfound self-confidence, and at 57 she was inspired to wear eye makeup for the first time in thirty years. And when Jeanne, 62, was diagnosed with cancer, the Tap Pups rallied to offer their full support. Vicki’s students come from all walks of life: teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, insurance agents, therapists, CPAs, retirees—married, divorced, single, and widowed—but through dancing together, no matter their innate talent or years of experience, Vicki’s Tap Pups have found a potent source of friendship, vitality, and ful- fillment.

After years of putting everyone else first, these women know that now it’s their time to shine. In Encore Performance, Vicki inspires readers of all ages to listen to the beat of their own hearts and dance through life as they were born to do.
Encore Performance with Vicki G. Riordan
CBS Sunday Morning

Finding Your Rhythm...Again
ENCORE PERFORMANCE is not just Vicki Riordan’s story, but the story of the special women and men who call themselves Vicki’s Tap Pups and have found true happiness through tap dancing, just as Vicki herself did. Vicki’s students have come to tap dancing from all walks of life, all ages, and all skill levels. They are wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, grandparents, business owners, lawyers, doctors, married, divorced, and widowed. But they have formed a common bond through the camaraderie of learning and performing, and the pure love of making noise. At a point in life where most people retire and slow down, Vicki’s Tap Pups are donning black and white spectator tap shoes and makeup and performing live in front of huge crowds, including opening for Chubby Checker, Patti LaBelle, and Joan Rivers. Some of the themes are:

  • How Vicki’s pivotal life decisions—to end a bad marriage, to raise two children alone, to follow her passion—were all made from a position of strength, and how she maintained a fun-loving personality throughout, refusing to live as a victim of circumstance.

  • The inspirational stories of growth among the women of the Tap Pups, whether taking months to finally get a step right or finding new purpose in life through tap after illness, losing spouses, facing retirement or empty nests, and the strong friendships they have forged.

  • The strong collaboration between Vicki and her son, Brian, who served as an unexpected reminder of who she was meant to be.

  • The 3R Project, an organization Vicki and Brian Riordan created to help the local YWCA of Greater Harrisburg’s Domestic Violence Shelter. Dancers provide “Comfort Bundles” of blankets, towels, and other supplies to women and children in need at the shelter, and proceeds from the Tap Pups Spring Show go to this organization every year.

Meet the Dancers of Chicago
Meet the Dancers of 42nd Street
Meet the Dancers of Jump Jivin’
Watch As You Read:
Encore Performance is one of the most interactive books on the market.
Atria Authors on Your Smart Phone
Tag images like the one below are placed throughout Encore Performance to bring videos of the Tap Pups directly to your smart phone.
© 2015 Vicki’s Tap Pups. All rights reverved.