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Thelma Larkin Goldberg

Thelma Larkin Goldberg founded The Dance Inn, a suburban private sector dance studio serving more than 400 students weekly, in 1983. She teaches regularly at dance teacher events, including the American Tap Dance Foundation’s Tap Teacher Training Program, the National Dance Educator Organization's annual conference, and the Boston Tap Party. She received the 2015 Dr. Michael Shannon Dance Champion Award from the Boston Dance Alliance for “her sustained excellence in teaching and passionate advocacy for the art of tap dancing.” 

Thelma received her PhD in Educational Studies from Lesley University in 2020. Her research centers around the experience of the tap dance educator in the private-sector dance studio. Recent research has focused on integrating tap history lessons into traditional movement-centered tap classes in both private sector settings and higher education. She joined the faculty at Dean College in 2021, where she is actively engaged in training future tap dance educators. 

Early Days 

Thelma grew up in Cambridge, MA, where she studied at the 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. She earned her master's 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 colleagues who have continued to inspire her since then. In 1997, she founded 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, La Vaughn Robinson, Jimmy Slyde, and Billy Siegenfeld. In addition to the books and teaching products found on this site, Thelma has also been published in the Dance Education in Practice Journal for her article "Release, Relax, Ready: A Rhythm-First, Holistic Approach to Teaching Tap Dance".

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2015 Boston Dance Alliance Award Recipient

Thelma Goldberg proudly accepts the Boston Dance Alliance 2015 Dance Champion Award







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