Look At What Tap Dancers Are Doing Now

Tap dancers are busy doing amazing things all over the world. Here is a sampling of the stories and announcements that have caught my eye:

Tap Dancer & Kathak Master Join for Portland Ovations’ India Jazz Suites

Exclusive! Season 7’s Melinda Sullivan on the Past, Present, and Future of Tap Dance on SYTYCD

Savion Glover Talks “A Classical Encounter With Savion Glover”

Footnotes Tap Ensemble to present “Let’s Dance” Nov. 4th & 5th – (FB Link)

The Sarah Petronio Tap Experience in NYC – November 11-13

Roxanne Butterfly Performs “The Tap Experience” in NYC Starting Tomorrow

The Basel Youth Ensemble To Perform “In Love With Rhythm II”(FB Link)

Jared Grimes & Broadway Underground Host Choreographer’s Showcase in NYC(FB Link)

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Jason Janas Has an “Illness”

I bring you this news as quickly as it has come to me.

Jason Janas, tap dance phenom, is ill.

I don’t actually mean ill in the sense of the Physicians Desk Reference, I mean it in the sense of the Urban Dictionary which defines ill as:

Having great skill or skills with respect to a particular endeavor.

The symptoms of his condition are:

1. Incredible rhythms created with the feet.
2. Tap dance steps executed with the exceptional speed and clarity.
3. Awesome musicality & rhythm
4. Ferocious tap combinations

No diagnosis has yet been determined. Maybe you can help with that…just watch this video and submit your best guess about what he is suffering from, in the comments section below.

(Special thanks to Sarah Reich for sharing this video and to Jason Janas for performing it at the 2011 DC Tap Fest.)

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The Movie “Tap” (1989) – Get It Now

Tap 1989

The Portable Tap Floor Blog just announced that you can now purchase the movie “Tap” (1989) in the store. If you haven’t seen this great film starring Gregory Hines, you should definitely consider picking it up now!

It’s a “must-own” for every tap dancer.

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Tap Dance Day 2011 Approaches and in Chicago…

First Ladies of Tap

I love hearing about tap artists & innovators getting the recognition they deserve for their dedication to tap dancing! On May 15th the Chicago Human Rhythm Project is using National Tap Dance Day 2011 as an opportunity to honor five women who have done just that.

Click the image above to find out about all five honorees. Two names I am especially thrilled to see are Dianne “Lady Di” Walker & Peggy Sutton!

“Lady Di” has been very, very kind to me and supportive of what I do online and off. Her stories are phenomenal and her knowledge of the dance, and it’s history are simply unbelievable. If you ever have the chance to take one of her classes, I strongly encourage you to jump at it.

On the other hand, I have never spoken with or met Peggy Sutton but I feel very connected to her anyway. My tap teacher, Sheila Artis, was a student of Tommy Sutton, Peggy Sutton’s Father. His life and legacy are inspiring to me and I hope this award will motivate more dancers to learn about who he was, and what he accomplished!

Congratulations to all of the honorees and an early “Happy Tap Dance Day” to all of you!

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Acia Gray Shares More of Jimmy Slyde’s Wise Words

Jimmy Slyde

I recently asked Acia Gray, Executive-Artistic Director of Tapestry in Austin, TX to pass on some of the wise words she’s received that have shaped her. Once again, Jimmy Slyde’s wisdom was shared. I’m really beginning to see just how significant his contribution has been for modern tap dancing.

So many sources of rhythm angels I had the privilege and honor of knowing and working with…

“Don’t do everything you know” & “Find the joy” -Jimmy Slyde

…is one that comes to my heart often. I also hear and work from so many breaths of rhythm and guidance from Brenda Bufalino, Sarah Petronio and Dianne Walker – my soul sisters. Without them … I’d be doing something else!

-Acia Gray

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