Tap Dance Masters

Jeni LeGon

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Tap, Tap Dance, tap dancing, tap dancers, tap dancer, dance, dancing, dancers, dancer, hoofer, tapper, mgm, movie musicals, feminism, intersectional, intersectional feminism, race, american history, culture, american culture, american history, jazz, movie musicals,

 Jennie May Ligon was born in Chicago, 1916, and became one of the first African American women in tap dance to develop a career as a soloist. Like many performers of her generation, her musical talents were developed by watching touring acts who performed at the local theatres, and practising by herself or “playing theatre” […]

Tap Dance Masters

Eleanor Powell

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Tap Dancer, Famous tap dancer, MGM, tap dance, tap dancing icon, tap dance idol, hollywood legend.

Eleanor Torrey Powell was born in Massachusetts, 1912. She took up dance lessons at a young age, as her mother thought it may encourage her to overcome her social awkwardness, but she didn’t learn to tap until after her stage career had already begun. Powell performed in two children’s shows before her first appearance on […]

Tap Dance Masters

Bunny Briggs

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Tap Dance UK, famous tap dancers, tap dance, tap dancing, tap dancers, tap dance shoes, tap dancing, the cotton club, harlem, tap dance icons, tap dance idols, tap dance legends, bunny briggs, bojangles, tap dance hall of fame, hall of fame.

Bernard “Bunny” Briggs was born in 1922 in the heart of Harlem, NYC: “a swingin’ area, I’ll tell you that.” According to Briggs, he was born dancing. In his interview with Rusty Frank for the book Tap! The Greatest Tap Dance Stars and Their Stories, 1900-1955 he says: “When I finally faced the world my […]

Tap Dance Masters

Fred Astaire

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Fred Astaire, Astaire, Tap Dance, Tap dancer, tap dancing, mgm, ginger rogers, Rogers and Astaire, movie musical, Hollywood, Hollywood Golden Era, Top Hat, Dancing, ballroom dancing.

Frederick Austerlitz was born in 1899 in Omaha, Nebraska, and moved to New York in 1905 with his family to receive dance training and perform on vaudeville stages. He and his sister Adele studied with Alviene Master School of the Theatre and Academy of Cultural Arts, but could not perform in New York due to […]

Tap Dance Masters

Gregory Hines

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Tap, Tap dance, tap dancing, tap dancer, Gregory Hines, Tap!, Tap dance in America, dance, rhythm, Hines,

Gregory Oliver Hines was born in New York in 1946. The family lived on Sugar Hill, home of black entertainers, on Harlem’s West 150th Street. His grandmother had danced at the Cotton Club in the 1920s, and his father was a respected drummer who performed in many legendary venues, including the Savoy Ballroom. It was […]

Tap Dance Masters

The Nicholas Brothers

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Tap, Tap Dance, Tap Dancers, Tap Dancing, The Nicholas Brothers, Stormy Weather, Jumpin' Jive, Cab Calloway

Fayard and Harold Nicholas grew up in Philadelphia, where their parents ran the house band of the Old Standard Theatre. Fayard, 7 years older than Harold, learned to dance by watching the vaudeville performers who came into the Old Standard and imitating their moves. Harold idolised his big brother, who taught him to dance, and […]

Tap Dance Masters

Gene Kelly

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  Born Eugene Curran Kelly in Pittsburgh, 1912, Kelly is known today as a legend of the Hollywood “Golden Era”.  A talented dancer, actor, singer, director, producer, and choreographer, he is famous for his graceful dance style, charming personality and good looks. Growing up in Pittsburgh, Gene watched a performance by the man he considered […]

Tap Dance Masters

Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson

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Born Luther Robinson in Richmond, Virginia, 1878, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson is widely recognised as the Grandfather of tap dance as we know it today. His career began at the tender age of 5, busking in front of theatres for coins with a friend. The two were noticed by another local boy, who encouraged them to […]

Tap Dance Masters

Sammy Davis Jr.

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  Samuel George Davis Junior was born in Harlem in 1925. His mother – herself a tap dancer on Vaudeville, and her father – also an entertainer on the circuit – separated, and as a result Sammy went on tour with his father aged just three. As a child, Davis was enthralled by the dancers he […]