Barbara Duffy

November 30, 2009

Barbara Duffy, tap dancer extraordinaire, has captivated audiences across the world with her intricate footwork and standout performance quality. She trained with some of the world’s greatest tap masters, including Brenda Bufalino, Leon Collins and Honi Coles, and has performed as a featured soloist everywhere from France and Finland to Estonia and Japan. Duffy was a founding member of the American Tap Dance Orchestra, where she was a featured dancer and dance captain from 1986 to 1995. In 2000, with encouragement from her good friend, Gregory Hines, Duffy created her women’s tap company, Barbara Duffy & Company, which continues to earn rave reviews at venues across the U.S. When she’s not onstage, Duffy stays busy by teaching at NYC’s Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center, inspiring young hoofers one time step at a time. —Michael Anne Bailey


Dear Barbara,

Get ready for a whirlwind ride!

First, I want to tell you how proud I am that you’re pursuing your dream of being a dancer. It won’t happen the way you expect it, but you will make it! Keep practicing, persevering and facing your fears. Stay true to that dream and refuse to settle. Don’t let that passion die! Be nicer to yourself. You judge yourself so harshly, and that’s actually holding you back. Trying to be “perfect” will just make you afraid to jump in and try new things. It’s OK to make mistakes! Understand that there’s always a reason why things happen as they do; there is always a lesson to be learned. If you’re disappointed when things don’t go the way you want them to, it means that the universe has something better in store for you. So don’t worry so much.

Dream big, and don’t be afraid to shine!

I love you,

Barbara Duffy


Photo by Lois Greenfield