About us and our Statement of Practice

About the ORI

The ORI is an Ottawa-based tap dance community that creates opportunities for the growth,  visibility and promotion of the art of tap dance and tap dance artists in the Ottawa region.

We are collaborative and inclusive tap dancers. We believe in the human connection that creates and lifts up this art form.

We embrace improvisation, rhythmic sophistication, the individual and community. We strive to contribute meaningfully to the art of tap dance and its future in Ottawa.

Cultivating a lively and positive tap dance scene, we:

  • Celebrate, promote and practice the art of tap dance;
  • Inspire and nurture the individual artistry of Ottawa’s tap dancers;
  • Partner with tap dance, musicians and other aligned rooted jazz artists and champions to foster our community’s development;
  • Are education and creation-based;
  • Work with live music whenever possible.

The ORI is a volunteer led and supported community and operates on a cost-recovery model. The ORI is seeking not-for-profit status.

Statement of Practice

We take great joy celebrating tap dance.

Tap dance is integral to jazz music and culture which have been shaped by the experience of oppression, slavery and segregation of Black people.

Our practice is grounded in respect for tap dance as an art form, its roots deep in Black history and culture. Through our practice, we honour Black tap dancers and musicians on whose shoulders we stand, and for whose sacrifices we are forever grateful.

We continue to strengthen our relationship with the history and culture of tap dance, including through community outreach, engagement, education, creation and performance. We strive to appreciate rather than appropriate.

We foster a safe and inclusive learning and creation environment for everyone.

Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

The ORI acknowledges that our activities take place in Ottawa, which is located on the traditional unceded territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation. The Algonquin peoples have lived on this land since time immemorial. We are grateful to have the opportunity to be present in this territory. We also show our gratitude and respect to them, and to the land for all that it provides us: trees to give shade, water and food to sustain us, and paths to connect us.


Find out more about what we’re up to on Facebook and Instagram.

Email us at ottawarhythminitiative@gmail.com


About the Founder and Artistic ProducerIMG_9997

Carole Anne Piccinin founded the ORI out of a life-long passion to explore and celebrate the art of tap dance as a percussive form in a musically authentic and community-focused way. She has studied dance since age six, having lived the lives of an artist, performer, teacher, studio owner, choreographer and adjudicator along the way. Carole Anne credits Canadians William Orlowski (National Tap Dance Company of Canada) and Heather Cornell (Manhattan Tap) for making the connection for her many years ago that tap dance is music. She is grateful and honoured to be a part of the Canadian rhythm tap community and scene. Carole Anne has created and taught tap dance and music programs for Ontario dance schools and school boards, musical theatre companies, and developed the Canadian Children’s Museum long-running Musicworks! program. She has participated on dance and arts juries municipally and provincially. Recent productions include leading an educational “tap talk” and workshop with the National Arts Centre – Dance with Michelle Dorrance (2016), and co-presented artists (2018) and produced, choreographed and performed in a full-length ORI Ensemble tap dance and live music show (2019) at the TD Ottawa International Winter and Summer Jazz Festivals respectively.  She has mentored many tap dancers over her career, and has worked as an arts management consultant and educator with tap dance communities across the country. Passionate about tap dance to her core, she studies and collaborates with tap dance artists and musicians wherever and whenever she can. She has been a dance reviewer for Ottawa Tonight. A mom of two boys and married for over 25 years, she served for five years on the  Canada Dance Festival board of directors and for eight years as the Executive Director of Ottawa Festivals d’Ottawa.