Capitol Tap

Resident Company at Knock On Wood

Capitol Tap was founded in 2010 by Lisa Swenton-Eppard to provide tap dancers an opportunity to grow as dancers, musicians, performers, and historians. Working in the rhythm tap modality, Capitol Tap guides tappers between the ages of 9 and 25 with: 

  • A "fundamentals first" approach  
  • Closed rehearsals featuring internationally-respected guest artists 
  • Active participation in the art of improvisation  
  • Performance opportunities to grow as a performing artist  
  • Chaperoned road trips to relevant tap events  
  • An educated base of knowledge of tap's rich history  
  • A repertoire comprised of both new and historical works.  


Capitol Tap's directors are Lisa Swenton-Eppard and Baakari Wilder. For additional information about the group, their performance schedule and more, please visit Cap Tap's website and their Facebook page, and you can also follow them on Twitter at @capitoltap. 


Article about Capitol Tap from Danceview Times

January 11, 2015

Separation, Integration
Capitol Tap’s 5th Anniversary Gala
Civic Center
Silver Spring, Maryland
January 10, 2015
by George Jackson 
© 2014 by George Jackson

In America today, tap dancing’s subculture resembles that of ballet somewhat. Both art forms organize the training of fresh talent around competitions. The presence of parents ballet dads and tap moms behind the scenes and in the audience is a crucial building block that gives both camps a middle class look. Racially, tap seems more truly integrated than ballet, at least along black/white lines. The gala held this past Saturday evening for tappers across the DC area featured several things in addition to performance. Items such as tap shoes were on auction. Instrumentalists from Sonova (the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia) provided incidental music. There was a bar and a buffet. Two individuals were honored tap matriarch Yvonne Edwards and current tap star Baakari Wilder*. The founder of the Capitol Tap organization, Lisa Swenton-Eppard, had devised a festive way to start the still fresh and new year, 2015. Most of those delivering the tap moves and sound were in their early teens.
The young dancers were fully comfortable on stage, both when forming an ensemble and stepping out to solo. Discipline and cohesion did not prevent them from displaying personality. A heavier dancer was not afraid to funnel weight into emphasizing the power of movement. Thinner bodies strove to be supple. The group enjoyed working together. Stepping aside when it was time for Baakari Wilder’s solo, the fledgling artists kept him in focus. Tall, lean and letting rhythm show throughout his frame in an almost understated way, Wilder is a master of clarity. Each move, whether the Nth tap in a series or the flick of a wrist, is certain. Nothing mechanical, though, appears but only an organic wholeness, a ripeness, a rich luminosity. He phrases not in a showy manner but with a sly smile. Wilder makes not just dance movement but music. The tones that issue from his tapping are pristine, pure pearls whether strung together in a rapid run or solitary like the bell sound of a buoy out at sea.
Swenton-Eppard joined Wilder for an improvised two-some. Her long legs go well with his overall height. Then the kids flanked them for a finale. When the audience left the Civic Center, there was ice skating in the rink just outside the front doors, even though it was an extremely chilly night.
* Baakari Wilder received Washington Performing Arts Society’s Pola Nirenska award for achievement in dance during the year 2014.