“Desio, a Broadway vet, is probably the most inventive tapper in the business. He devised an electronic system that allows the dancer to produce all kinds of musical and percussive sounds with his feet, just as a keyboardist would play an electronic keyboard. Now having perfected this system, he is still inventing new ways to use it...One of Desio’s most appealing attributes is the pleasure he seems to get from his dancing. It’s contagious! Everyone feels a little better about things after sharing one of his performances.”

Helen Peppard, Daily Variety


Tap-Tronics™/Alfred Desio

Photo by the Los Angeles Times

Repertory – Selected Past

Desio is the first known tap dancer to wire his feet electronically. Every time he takes a step on the “zapped taps mat,” the mikes in the soles of his shoes send shimmers of hollow, mesmeric sound through the synthesizer and back out to the audience.

Imagine a human body made of aluminum bones, and imagine that you can hear inside this body, inside its bones. The effect is fantastically eerie; we travel to places in the body hitherto considered unapproachable. We become insiders, and for the first time we can sense a dance unfolding from the dancer’s point of view; from his muscles.”    

Sasha Anawalt, Los Angeles Herald Examiner

“What made “Zapped Taps” special, apart from the sheer excellence of the dancing, was Mr. Desio’s innovation, Tap-Tronics. In this concept, each dancer uses electronically amplified tap shoes. Transducer microphones in a tapper’s shoes are wired to a transmitter either hand-held or places in a pants pocket. The tap sounds are relayed to a receiver and can go through special effects modules, a number of synthesizers and other electronic equipment. There is a special effect due to performance: the music is developed and changed by the dancer at the moment that the dance takes place. Basic elements include the tap sounds, any electronic devices and the material that the composer has pre-programmed into the sequence.”

Marlene Harding, Show Business, New York

“Watching hoofer Alfred Desio plugged into his Zapped Taps, one can’t help but recall the scene in the movie “Big” when Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia dance out “Heart and Soul” on a gigantic keyboard. The melodies and rhythms Desio creates are far more complex than any ditty by Hoagy Carmichael (the sound of Desio’s taps trigger preprogrammed electronically synthesized music,) but the free-spirited innocence of the bit is right on.

The high point of Los Angeles Choreographers & Dancers’ seven-part program, presented Sunday afternoon at USC, was watching associate director Desio dance three electronic tap solos – “Sounds of Electricity,” (Sronx) “Pino Copy 4” and “Midi Two-Step.” Desio has been experimenting with his Zapped Taps technology (the trademark is his)for several years, and he has finally perfected the medium for theatrical performance.”           

Jody Leader, Daily News

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This page was last revised on June 6, 2017