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TAP DANCE - Belgium 2023


Tap Dance - Belgium 


APRIL 17 - 21, 2023

This innovative program -- led by internationally renowned Brazilian tap dancer / educator / choreographer  Felipe Galganni and SMJ Artistic/Music Director, Nilson Matta -- goes beyond the fundamentals to immerse participants in Brazilian music alongside Jazz.  This is a unique opportunity to learn Brazilian rhythms, execute them in tapping, and apply these to Brazilian tap repertoire choreographed by Galganni.   Participants will experience live accompaniment by SMJ's instrumental faculty, and have option to join instrumentals in Batucada (Brazilian Canirval percussion) sessions.  Participation in a performance at the end of our week is optional.   Participants should have basic tap dancing skills under their belt.

In this context, the Tap Dance program integrates: 

  • Technique

  • Repertoire 

  • Rhythmic Styles & Phrasing 

  • Improvisation

  • Live accompaniment by SMJ instrumental faculty 

  • Percussion for Tap Dancers


Faculty - Belgium 

Overview of the Week

Overview of the Week

Our schedule (see below)  is designed to provide participants ample opportunity to explore cultural sites during the day, and to  enjoy Ghent's fine cuisine and nightlife.   The program offers 4 hours of tap instruction daily, with an additional optinal  hour for participants who wish to participate in a performance at the end of the week.   

On Monday evening (after our first day of instruction,) we'll have an optional "get-to-know-each-other" dinner for participants and faculty from tap dance, vocal and instrumental programs.  On Wednesday evening, we'll have an optional faculty-led jam.

We will also offer complimentary optional  "off-the-beaten-track" tour through Ghent (day/time TBA)  by one of our participants who has worked extensively within Belgium's tourism industry.  

For those who wish to visit nearby Bruges, Brussels or Antwerp (30, 35 and 40 minutes by train, respectively) our Thursday session will be in the morning, giving participants an option to hop on a train and explore into the night.

SCHEDULE (subject to change

Monday:  1:45 - 6:45pm*  (followed by optional dinner) 

Tuesday: 1:45 - 6:45pm* 

Wednesday:  1:45  - 6:45pm (optional nighttime  jam) 

Thursday:  9:30am - 1:30pm*

Friday day:  1:45pm - 5:15

Friday evening:  optional performance

*includes option to participate in a 1-hour performance class from 5:45 - 6:45pm 

About Ghent

     Welcome to GHENT! 


Ghent is a port city in northwest Belgium, at the confluence of two rivers -- the Leie and Scheldt During the Middle Ages, it was a prominent city-state. Today it’s a university town and cultural hub. Its pedestrianized center is known for medieval architecture such as 12th-century Gravensteen Castle and the Graslei and Korenlai docks, a row of guildhalls beside the Leie River harbor.


The historical ports are recognized as the most beautiful spot in the city. After a mandatory boat ride and getting the best picture of the former port, you can discover Belgiums’ beer and indulge in Belgian’s chocolate culture in one of the many cafe patios!

Most of the tourist attractions such as the Christmas market, the Gravensteen castle and St Bravo’s Cathedral are mostly concentrated in the city centre. The city streets are highly accessible, and the best way to tour the city is on foot through the impressive sidewalks from where you can admire the city’s medieval architecture and enjoy the fresh sea breeze.


Where to Stay

Where to Stay

Participants are responsible for their travel, lodging and meals.  However,  SMJ is exploring the possibility of a group rate at several hotels/B&Bs, and will post updates.  If you are interested in  a group rate, please let us know.

Our Vocal Workshop will be held at   Should you wish to stay close to the workshop venue, its address is:   

Patijntjestraat 27

Patijntjestraat 27, 9000 Gent, Belgium


The website provides descriptions of what it deems the 5 best neighborhoods to stay in Ghent.    Below you'll find a description of each neighborhood and a list of things to do there.   We have not  included their hotel recommendations for each area.

          #1  PATERSCHOL – Where to Stay Your First Time

#1 Neighborhood photo .jpeg


" Patershol is the best area in Ghent to stay in if you want to experience the city’s historic heart. This is where you’ll find most of the city’s best attractions as well as pedestrian lanes that are filled with quirky shops and cafes.
Most of the city’s best budget accommodation options are also in this part of the city, as well as some more expensive options.."

      Things to Do in Paterschop

  • Explore the medieval castle at Gravensteen.

  • Head down to the docks at Graslei and Korenlei.

  • Wander the pedestrian lanes and look for treasure.

  • Do some people watching from the comfort of a local café.

  • Explore the 10th century Saint Bavo’s Cathedral.

  • Make sure you eat at as many of the quirky, half-hidden restaurants dotted throughout the area as you can.


                #2 LEDEBERG – Where to Stay on a Budget

#2 Neighborhood in Ghent .jpeg

"Ledeberg is one of the best places in Ghent to stay if you’re looking for budget accommodation and food. This is to the south of the center of the city, near one of Ghent’s universities, and it’s set up for students who don’t have a lot of spare cash.


So, you’ll find lots of cheap places to eat, stay, and be entertained in this area."


  • Explore Citadel Park, where you’ll find a huge green space as well as several popular museums.

  • Head into the city for a day of sightseeing and people watching.

  • Grab some friends and head out to explore the city’s local nightlife.

  • Take advantage of the cheap local eats to stretch your budget even further.


           #3 SINT-PIETERSNIEUWSTRAAT – Best for Nightlife



#3 Neighborhood in Ghent .jpg

If you want to get out of the city center but still be close then this is the best neighborhood to stay in Ghent. It’s based around the street of the same name which has become one of the city’s central veins.

You’ll find lots of things to do and see in this part of the city, from funky restaurants to quirky bars and music venues.

Photo: Davidh820 (WikiCommons)

It’s an easy walk from this area to the center of the city where you’ll find all the best historic sites. But what this area offers is much more modern attractions.  This is where you’ll find a concentration of the famous Ghent warmth and fun as you wander from concerts to dance classes, chocolate bars, and student pubs.

Things to See and Do in Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat:

  • Head into Mayana, the area’s famous chocolate bar.

  • Grab your friends and explore the local student bars for cheap drinks and a great atmosphere.

  • Spend some time explore and people-watching in St. Peter’s Square.

  • Head to De Vooruit, once a socialist hall turned cultural temple where you’ll find everything from concerts to film screenings.

  • Head up to have a drink or cup of coffee on one of Ghent’s famous floating terraces and watch the world go by.

                         #4 PRINSINHOF  – the Coolest Place to Stay 

#4 neighborhood in Ghent.jpg

Prinsenhof is technically in the city’s center but is a mostly ignored area.  This is a shame because it’s also the best neighborhood in Ghent to stay in if you enjoy a charming atmosphere with lots of history.  t radiates a kind of peaceful beauty, with cobbled lanes, empty stretches of canal, and 17th-century houses.


You’ll be able to explore in relative peace and quiet in this part of the city as there are few tourists who venture this far.   It’s a residential area that’s within a few minutes’ walk of the main tourist center and has its own historic and modern attractions and sites.  If you’re looking for quiet accommodation options as well as convenience, this is the best neighborhood to stay in.

Things to See and Do in Prisenhof:

  • Wander the deserted lanes and look for hidden gems.

  • If you enjoy 17th-century architecture, you’ll find plenty of it in this part of the city.

  • Head over to the medieval gate, which is all that remains of the court where Emperor Charles V was born in 1500.

  • Relax in cafes amongst the locals.

  • Head into the city center to experience the crush of tourists and return with a deeper appreciation of your quiet surroundings.

 #5 Sint-Amandsberg – Best for Families

#5 neighborhood in Ghent .jpg

When you’re deciding where to stay in Ghent with kids, then you need somewhere accessible to the city center but a little quieter. And that’s exactly what you’ll get when you stay in suburban Sint-Amandsberg.

This area carries the perfect mix of historic and modern homes, so you’ll enjoy the combination of atmosphere and convenience when you stay in this area.  Sint-Amandsberg doesn’t have as many big hotel chains. This is a local area where you can get to know the city’s people and enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere.  But there are still some great guesthouses and B&Bs to stay in, just don’t expect to see any big chains or towering skyscrapers.

 Things to See and Do in Sint-Amandsberg:

  • Explore the elaborate tombs of the Campo Santo Cemetery and dream of the city’s sometimes dark past.

  • Take day trips out of the city from the nearby train station.

  • Get to know the local cafes and watering holes and make sure that you eat where the locals eat.

  • Take a bus ride into the city center to explore the city's biggest attractions.



Pricing & Policies

Pricing & Policies 



            Online Registration is open!   


Tuition is the sole program cost payable to Samba Meets Jazz Workshops.   Participants are responsible for all costs related to travel, lodging and meals.  

REGISTER by February 10th to receive Early Bird Tuition Discount! 


Standard tuition:  $815

Earlybird standard tuition:  $715 U.S. 


Educator & Working Musician Rate:  $ 745 U.S.

Earlybird Educator/Working Musician  Discount:  $645 U.S.  

International Tuition Rate:  445 euros

Earlybird International Rate:  395 euros

A minimum deposit of 50% is due to reserve your spot.

A very limited number of partial scholarships are available based on financial need and merit.  



Payment can be made electronically or by check.  Please note that the PayPal surcharge of 3% will be added to your invoice.   If paying via PayPal, you will submit payment directly from this website at checkout.  If not, you will be invoiced. 


If using Zelle or Venmo, send $1 test prior to submitting your payment. 

PAY PAL  (3% surcharge) 

If using PayPal, you can submit payment from our website at Checkout.

VENMO (no fee if using debit card or bank account).

@aliceschiller50 (photo of puppy) -

Send $1 test prior to making payment. 

ZELLE (no fee)

Send $1 test prior to making payment. 




SMJ is a small program.  In light of this, in the event you are unable to attend, you have the option of applying tuition payment to future programs through June of 2024., or to find an appropriate sub to fill your reserved music spot. 


SMJ advises that registrants purchase trip insurance.  Given the unpredictability of Covid, and/or other unforeseen circumstances, Samba Meets Jazz Workshops reserves the right to cancel the workshop.


Proof of vaccination and booster updates must be submitted prior to attendance.  Completion of registration and payment will confirm that registrant agrees to follow Covid-related policies of our instructional venues and Samba Meets Jazz Workshops.  Please note:  masks are not required. 

** subject to change based upon relevantCovid-related information 



Travel to & from Ghent 



The closest international airport  to Ghent is in Brussels, approximately 35 minutes away from Ghent by train.   Brussels has two international airports servicing premium and budget airlines alike. One is at the edge of Brussels city and the other one 55km (36 miles) southward. 


Brussels Zaventem Airport  (Airport code: BRU)

Also known as: Brussels National Airport, Brussels International Airport, Zaventem Airport. The main airport in Brussels. Located in the area of Zaventem, about 20 minutes by train from the city centre (Brussels Central Station). Most travellers coming from long-haul international flights from outside of Europe will land at this Brussels airport.

Brussels Charleroi Airport
 Also known as: Brussels South Charleroi Airport

This airport is 55km (34 miles) southward from Brussels city centre and it takes about 50 minutes to get there by a shuttle bus or car if there is little traffic. It is still close enough airport to Brussels city and many budget airlines use it. For example Ryanair and WizzAir.  It has opened up Brussels to many cheap flights to cities in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe.



Ghent is an ideal home base from which to visit nearby Belgian cities of Bruges,

Brussels and Antwerpe -- and even Paris -- two hours away by train.   We will be updating this section of the website with links to trains.  

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