Tap dancer Jerry Ames died at age 80 in February. After making his professional debut at age 15 in the Broadway musical Are You With It?, Ames went on to star in Tap Happening (1969) and performed alongside Jimmy Slyde in On Tap! A Celebration of an American Art Form. In 1976, his Jerry Ames Tap Dance Company premiered, and he co-authored The Book of Tap: Recovering America’s Long Lost Dance in 1977. Ames performed and conducted master classes for Dance Masters of America, Dance Educators of America and many tap festivals across the globe. In 2006, he received a Flo-Bert Award for his numerous contributions to tap dance.
Kirill Matveev, ballet teacher at NYC’s Ballet Arts, died in January at the age of 49. A graduate of the Vaganova Academy of St. Petersburg, Russia, Matveev was a principal dancer with Eifman’s Ballet Company, Maliy Theater of Opera & Ballet and Yakobson Ballet Company. He taught and choreographed internationally for over 15 years.
Photo: Jerry Ames (courtesy of The Tap Legacy Foundation)