Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards Writes a Letter to Her Teenage Self
When Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards taps, people listen. She performs with grace, elegance, precision and speed—not to mention that she can hit as hard as any of the guys. After an early start at age 3, Dormeshia made her Broadway debut at 12 alongside Gregory Hines, Savion Glover, Buster Brown and Jimmy Slyde in the revue Black and Blue. Not bad for a pre-teen! She has also performed with L.A.'s Jazz Tap Ensemble, was featured in the movie TAP and was the first female dancer in Savion's Tony Award–winning Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk.
Last year, Dormeshia starred in the film The Rise and Fall of Miss Thang as a former tap prodigy who rediscovers her love of dance. She currently directs Harlem Tap (harlemtap.com) with her husband, fellow tapper Omar Edwards, and teaches at tap festivals around the world. Where can you catch up with this busy dancer, teacher, choreographer and mom? At press time, she was already on the lineups of the St. Louis Tap Festival (July 21-26), Chicago Human Rhythm Project's Rhythm World Summer Festival (July 21–August 3) and the Bay Area Tap Festival (August 10-17)! —Kathryn Holmes
Since your goal is to be a tap dancer, you must understand that it comes with great responsibilities.
Your teachers, Paul and Arlene Kennedy, introduced you to Honi Coles, Frances Nealy, Ralph Brown, John Bubbles, Eddie Brown and so many others at a very early age. You've had the chance to grow up around these great tap dancers. They let you in on some of their secrets and share steps and sing songs with you. These great and successful tap dancers are sharing their knowledge of the dance—with you! They are passing it on and you must do the same. But before you do, understand your responsibility. You must not mistreat this information. You are being given precious and valuable jewels, so take them, get to know them, make them your own and share them with other dancers who love tap the way you do.
You have a responsibility to keep learning and to pass on what you've learned. Being a tap dancer is really not about you; a tap dancer's responsibility is to the dance itself. You're representing a whole artform, and the dancers who came before you. You're inspiring your peers in the dance. You're nurturing the generation of dancers after you. Passing it on—that's what it's really all about.
I know that you love and respect the dance wholeheartedly, so remember your foundation, stay focused on your goal, maintain humility in your success and your life in tap dancing will be fulfilled.
Week 2 of Misty Copeland as guest judge, week 2 of merciless cuts...How can the final episodes of "World of Dance" possibly live up to the sheer dramaaaaaaaaa of last night's episode? Well, based on the nail-biting results dished out by Copeland and Co. last night, the competition is only going to get fiercer from here. Without further ado, last night's results, as told by Kween Misty.
Every ballet dancer knows the time, sweat, and occasional tears the art form demands. But many non-dancers are clueless about just how much work a ballet dancer puts into perfecting his or her dancing. So when the mainstream crowd recognizes our crazy work ethic, we'll accept the round of applause any way it comes—even if it comes via four men in tutus. Yep, we're talking about "The Try Guys Try Ballet" video.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns is some SERIOUS #goals. Her strength and power onstage borders on superhuman. But what's extra magical about Mearns is that she really puts in the fitness and cross-training work outside of the rehearsal studio. And she's overcome her fair share of injuries. Which is why she was the perfect source for Vogue's latest ballet fitness story.
Remember that fabulous old-school clip of dancers tapping in pointe shoes that Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo brought to our attention back in March? As we mentioned then, toe-tap dancing was actually super popular back in the 1920s and 30s—which means there are more videos where that one came from. And because #ToeTapTuesday has a nice ring to it, we thought we'd take this opportunity to introduce you to Dick and Edith Barstow, a toe-tapping brother and sister duo from that era who are nothing short of incredible: