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Tap Dancing AmericaA Cultural History$
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Constance Valis Hill

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195390827

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195390827.001.0001

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Hoofing in Heels

Hoofing in Heels


(p.322) 12 Hoofing in Heels
Tap Dancing America

Constance Valis Hill

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a performance by Ayodele Casel, Chloe Arnold, and Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards—in high-heeled tap shoes—of Jason Samuels Smith’s Charlie’s Angels. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, tap dance was regarded as a national treasure, celebrated annually on National Tap Dance Day—May 25, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’s birthday. While tap dancers were acknowledged in all forms of the media, there were scores of talented dancers still hustling, both for gigs and respect; and there was no consistent performance schedule beyond the growing but still small tap festival circuit. Despite tap’s continued segregation from mainstream modern American dance forms, and its ingrained misunderstanding by critics, such productions as Derick Grant’s Imagine Tap! and Savion Glover’s Classical Savion!, along with tap’s international popularity, plethora of talented women in tap, and young talent, placed tap dance as the most cutting-edge dance form on the American stage.

Keywords:   women in tap, Savion Glover, Derick Grant, National Tap Dance Day, tap festival

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