Meet Vicki G. Riordan

It’s never too late to live
the life you want.

As a young girl, growing up in the 1950s in Steelton, Central Pennsylvania, Vicki Grubic Riordan idolized Shirley Temple and Gene Kelly. Vicki soon found her calling as a dance instructor and at eighteen she opened her own studio. But like many women of the Baby Boom generation, she decided to put her passion on hold to focus on marriage and starting a family. When her marriage abruptly ended and she was left with little means to support herself and her two young sons, Vicki returned to teaching dance. The Vicki’s Tap Pups program was later born and at the age of 62, Vicki opened what has becomeAmerica’s largest adult tap dancing studio. Since then, Vicki has gone from teaching 50 students to teaching more than 500, making Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the “unofficial tap capital of the world.”

Vicki’s story and how she created America’s largest adult tap group is told in the memoir, Encore Performance, How One Woman’s Passion Helped a Town Tap Into Happiness (Atria Books) wherever books are sold and downloaded.

Meet Vicki and her Tap Pups, 2012

"Let Me Dance...Again"-Mini Documentary

A dance studio with an exceptional bond and stories of fierce reinventions.

Vicki’s dancers range in age from 21 to 84, with the majority of them women in their 50s and 60s. They come from all walks of life: mothers, grandmothers, state workers, teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, business owners, married, divorced, single and widowed, but the things they have in common are much greater than the things that set them apart. Through dancing together, Vicki’s Tap Pups have found friendship, support, and a source of energy and excitement that is rare at any time in life. Like Vicki, these women (and a handful of men) are transforming and reinventing themselves at an unexpected age. Just when society dictates that they should be slowing down, they’re putting on their dance shoes and tapping into a happiness none of them expected to find.