About Thelma Goldberg

Author, of Thelma's Tap Notes

Photo by Cynthia Clayton

Thelma Larkin Goldberg grew up in Cambridge, MA, where she studied dance at Bates School of Dance in Central Square. After earning her B.S. in Special Education from Lesley College in 1974, she taught in the Boston Public School system, earning her Masters in Special Education from Regis College while starting a family and relocating to Lexington, MA. After founding the Dance Inn in 1983, in the dining room of her home, Thelma eventually found her way to the rich tap scene in the Boston area, studying at the Leon Collins Studio in Brookline and meeting many of the friends and associates who have continued to inspire her since then. In 1997 she started Dance Inn Productions, a nonprofit organization producing annual International Tap Day Festivals that honored master tappers with the Tapestry Award for Teaching. Among the dancers she has celebrated are Dianne Walker, Brenda Bufalino, Sarah Petronio, Buster Brown, Jimmy Slyde and Billy Siegenfeld.

Currently, Thelma writes the monthly “Tap Tips”  for Dance Studio Life and is proud to be a faculty member of the Dancelife Retreat Center as well as the 2015 Dance Life Teacher Conference. A guest instructor for the American Tap Dance Foundation’s Tap Teacher Training Program, she founded the pre-professional program of Tap City: The New York City Tap Festival. She is artistic director of the Legacy Dance Company, the pre-professional program of the Dance Inn. The Boston Dance Alliance recently honored her with the 2015 Dr. Michael Shannon Dance Champion Award for “sustained excellence in teaching and passionate advocacy for the art of tap dancing.”

Thelma’s passion for tap education has now resulted in two volumes of Thelma’s Tap Notes: the 2013 Children’s Edition, and now this volume, Tap into Life: A Guide to Tap Dancing for Adults. She continues to study and perfect her approach by teaching full time while mentoring a passionate young faculty. Her goal is to dance forever!

About Thelma's Tap Notes


"I've started incorporating the 'call and response' ideas with my dancers! Clapping or simply using rhythm sticks changes the vibe in class and has dancers excited about learning tap. I also love the smiles I receive from my young students when they say words to create rhythm. 'Pine-ap-ple and Wa-ter-mel-on" start off as silly words at first however when I incorporate the words to the rhythm you've presented in the book I soon get their attention and the students not only are enjoying tap but they are having fun doing it. The book is easy to follow even for a non-reader like me."


Pamela C Caira 

Step-By-Step Dance Studio Waltham, MA

"Thelma's Tap Notes" is a wonderful and very helpful addition to the learning tools for my staff and studio.  The book adds clarity to the process of teaching tap skills in the correct order so that students are successful and confident with their progress.  The music suggestions, choreography notes and tips and tools are so helpful to keeping routines unique and exciting while students master their tap levels. 

"This book is unique in it's style as it is a "teaching tool" not just an anthology of tap steps. Thelma's Tap Notes is a must have for any studio and teacher! 

Diane Abraham
The Dance Studio of Wakefield, MA

owner, director

Dance Teachers Club of Boston, former President

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