Get Ready for National Tap Dance Day!
Ahh Memorial Day Weekend is just three weeks away. We can almost smell the budding flowers, the fresh-cut grass, the charcoal grill...It's the first real taste of summer freedom.
But what could make this three-day weekend even better? Um, National Tap Dance Day, of course!
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson teaches Shirley Temple the stair dance in The Little Colonel (1935)
The holiday falls on May 25 each year, in honor of tap legend Bill "Bojangles" Robinson's birthday. President George H.W. Bush signed NTDD into law back in 1989, making this year its 25th anniversary...so naturally, it has to be extra special.
While there will be celebrations throughout the US, the American Tap Dance Foundation (ATDF) is setting up shop in NYC with Tap Attack, an outdoor event (free to the public) featuring tap students from ages 5 to 75. Things to look forward to: free lessons in how to do the Shim Sham, appearances by big-time names in the tap world (Chloé Arnold and Jason Samuels Smith, to name a couple), and performances by the talented young hoofers of ATDF's own Tap City Youth Ensemble. (Click here for more info on all the tap-tastic events scheduled.)
So if you're in or around NYC, mark your calendars for this Memorial Day Weekend, and be sure to make your way over to Pier 45 of the Hudson River Park on Sunday afternoon. In the meantime, here's a video of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson hoofin' it up with Shirley Temple in The Little Colonel:
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽