Enloe Senior Represents USA at International Tap Championship, Brings Home Gold

Enloe Senior Represents USA at International Tap Championship, Brings Home Gold

Enloe boasts a wide arrange of successful artists and talent, but Gabi Allen, Enloe senior and tap connoisseur, takes the gold medal-literally, for the 2019 season. Allen has recently returned from the International Tap Dancing championship held in Riesa, Germany. She, along with her dance troupe represented the united states in this four-day event and came home with the top-ranking title of first place. 


This was not an overnight success story by any means, Gabi recalls in my interview with her. “I’ve been tap dancing for probably six or seven years, but it’s way later than anyone else has.” she has recently entered her tenth year dancing at the center stage school of performing arts in Garner “I’ve been on a tap team at your studio, and then just earlier this year I auditioned for the american tap company. I did an online audition, and then I made it, I made team USA.” Says Gabi. 


Allen attended boot camp for a week in August in Boston to learn the routine and bond with her fellow tappers on the team, then commuted back and forth up until the competition in November. Allen arrived in Germany on November 26th, 2019, and the tournament commenced. The competition was split up into four elite stages, from quarterfinals all the way up to finals, on November 30th. “It started out with about 40 groups,” says Allen “these were large groups so it was a giant formation, and the premise of the category is there’s a camera on top of the stage, then it looks down on your formations, so you have to be in perfect lines. She continues, saying “Its kinda like marching band, you make cool shapes, but all while you’re tap dancing!”


Over the course of three days, the US team battled their way to finals, Gabi said. “ Finals had seven teams total- we were with teams like Croatia, Canada, Switzerland, the Czech Republic. They even opened it up to the town on Riesa, Germany.” The American team performed an Arabian tap dance fusion medley, and the awards ceremony commenced. “They announced first,” said Gabi, “and we had gotten first, so we all ran on stage, and people were holding the American flag, and bowed, and went around and shook hands with all the other countries,” she says, reminiscing on the memorable occasion. She continues, describing how “They raised the American flag as the US national anthem played and we were all screaming it, and it was really cute”. The team closed out the competition with their victory dance and headed back home (on a much too early flight, according to Gabi).


Reflecting over the experience, Gabi says that, “It was a very friendly environment, there was never a time where we were bashing other teams or anything – part of the experience is making friends with people”.  Allen describes how she brought with her small American pins to trade with people from other countries, who brought similar trinkets such as candy and small souvenirs for their fellow competitors. “There wasn’t too much of a pressure to show off in front of other teams or try to prove that Americas the greatest,” says Gabi, especially since a lot of people hate Americans, so we were trying to be especially nice”. 


It’s clear that dance is more than just a pastime for Gabi-  “Dance is just something that brought me out of my comfort zone, and I think my dance teacher especially pushed me out of that,” said Allen. “Tap dancing is something where I feel comfortable expressing myself through my dancing, where I can’t in other ways”