Grant Swift, is not your ordinary tap dancer. With an early career as a state champion boxer, turned male stripper in Europe, his journey to tap dance was anything but conventional. Though once tap dance found him, there was no turning back, and he has made it his life. He lives the art form with an unwavering authenticity and his love of tap is indisputably infectious.
Time spent living on the streets of New Orleans with no means of income but his tap shoes, offered him his first initiation to the true roots and spirit of tap. And on returning to Australia, he brought with him a passion for the art that he has been generously sharing ever since. He began tap dancing on Melbourne’s streets with his young daughter, and continued for close to a decade, becoming one of the city’s most well known and loved street performers. Tap dance was his bread and butter, and remains that way today.
Grant has gone on to teach and perform around the world, earning the praises of tap greats such as Gregory Hines and Dr Jimmy Slyde. His teaching and choreographic career has seen him work for London’s Pineapple Studios, Broadway Dance Centre, Circus Oz and extensively throughout Asia and Australia. He has performed at New Orleans Famous Door, New York Tap Festival, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, and others too many to mention.
As the founder of the Melbourne International Tap Festival, and teacher and mentor to some of Australia’s finest young tap dancers, he has been a passionate, and sometimes controversial champion for the art form. He continues to perform regularly throughout Melbourne, and to nurture the next generation of educated young tappers, at his dance school in St Kilda, Rhythm Tap Melbourne.
“One of the most spiritually motivated, politically active artists in our generation. He has the guts to say what the rest of the world is thinking.” Emmy Award winner, Jason Samuels Smith