'Tap Dogs' work up a sweat

It’s been an entertainment staple for more than a century, and although its popularity has diminished since its heyday in the 1930s and ’40s, tap dance is still a uniquely mesmerizing art form.

The long-running Australian-rooted tap dance show “Tap Dogs” has spent the past 17 years crisscrossing the globe performing their high-octane and incredibly complex choreography for millions of people. “Tap Dogs” will click its way through State College next week, when it stops by the Eisenhower Auditorium.

“It depicts a day in the life on a work site, however it’s a work site wearing tap shoes,” said MacKenzie Greenwell, a performer in the production who plays The Kid. “We build the set up from the start of the show to the end and it’s just a couple of guys up there having a good time.”

Based out of Canada and dancing since he was 2, Greenwell has been involved with “Tap Dogs” for almost four years after nailing a series of auditions in Toronto. In addition to performing at the opening ceremony at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Greenwell has shared the stage with “So You Think You Can Dance” star Miles Faber and spent some time as a dance instructor.

Although the song-and-dance numbers will rightfully garner the majority of the attention, this is a production that also has some great humor to go along with its strong and authoritative voice without creating a void in the action.

“The audience can expect a loud, hard-hitting, fast-paced, full-of-energy good time from top to end,” Greenwell said. He added that this is his second tour with this show and that he is eternally grateful for “Tap Dogs” because it lets him do what he loves most. “I get to wake up every day and tap dance. That’s why I love this show so much, it gives me that opportunity.”

All great art must change with the times so it’s relateable to its contemporary audience.

Since its premiere at the Sydney Theatre Festival in January 1995, “Tap Dogs” has had no problems with being able to adapt and grow throughout its maturation.

“As time goes on music changes and people’s taste changes, so there’s always improvements and things being made to the show to upgrade it and keep the jokes more current,” Greenwell said. “The music has been re-done, and right now we have a whole new set of music and it just kind of brings out a lot more and gives the show that much more as well.”