In honor of National Tap Dance Day on May 25, we asked our Tap Faculty to tell us their influences, inspirations and favorite things about tap dance.
What’s your advice for tap dancers in training?
In trying to grow in tap, don’t get caught up in Broadway tap versus rhythm tap. If there’s no rhythm, there’s no tap. Tap technique is the focus and you can get exceptional technique from so many teachers. Take classes with a variety of teachers to reach your full potential. ~Aaron Tolson
Who are some of your favorite tap dancers throughout history?
The Nicholas Brothers, The Condos Brothers,The Berry Brothers, Vera Ellen, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Honi Coles ~Doug Shankman
Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Eleanor Powell, Ann Miller, Sammy Davis, Jr. ~Lainie Munro
Lois Miller, Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates, Baby Laurence, Bill Bailey, John Bubbles, Gregory Hines, Jeni Le Gon , Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Lon Chaney, Ayodele Casel, Chuck Green, Coles & Atkins, Arthur Duncan, Jimmy Slyde, Bunny Briggs, Buster Brown, and the list goes on and on! ~Jason E. Bernard
MODERN DAY MASTERS & TAP DANCERS CHANGING THE GAME
Savion Glover, Jason Samuels Smith, Randy Skinner, Nicholas Young, Dormeisha Sumbry-Edwards, Derick K. Grant, Diane Walker, Curtis Holland, Michelle Dorrance, Jared Grimes
BEST TAP SEQUENCES ON FILM
“Begin the Beguine” with Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell in Broadway Melody of 1940
“Challenge Scene” in Tap featuring Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis, Jr., Arthur Duncan, Bunny Briggs, Jimmy Slyde, Steve Condos, Harold Nicholas and Howard “Sandman” Sims
“Jump N Jive” with the Nicholas Brothers in Stormy Weather
“Pick Yourself Up” with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in Swing Time
“Prove Me Wrong” with Gregory Hines & Mikhail Baryshnikov in White Nights
“Singing in the Rain” with Gene Kelly
“Too Darn Hot” with Ann Miller in Kiss Me Kate
For more tap dance footage visit our playlist on our YouTube channel!