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Savion Glover is one of the biggest names in the dance world, and perhaps the biggest in the tap world. The trailblazing hoofer's hard-hitting, rhythmically intricate style has fundamentally altered the tap landscape.

Glover is also a master teacher. But during his many years on the scene, he's never appeared regularly at a major dance convention. That is, until this season: Glover is now teaching at JUMP Dance Convention, scheduled to appear at approximately 15 more cities on its 2019–2020 tour.

We talked with JUMP director Mike Minery, himself a gifted hoofer, about working with a living legend—and how Glover is already changing the convention class game.

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Savion Glover instructs students in rehearsal for NJPAC's revival of The Tap Dance Kid; photo by Yasmeen Fahmy, courtesy of NJPAC

Tony Award–winning tapper Savion Glover is giving back to his hometown community in Newark, New Jersey, by directing and choreographing New Jersey Performing Arts Center's revival of the Broadway hit that launched his career, The Tap Dance Kid.

September 13–15, you can see the group of young dancers Glover handpicked from throughout the New Jersey and New York areas, as they bring the 1983 story to life in a new and modern way. Here, Glover shares a bit about creating movement inspired by the show's original Tony Award–winning choreography by Danny Daniels, as well as what it's like to revisit the show that changed his life.

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Fred and Adele Astaire

Here at DT, we love the Fred and Adele Astaire Awards. Established in 1982 in honor of the king of movie musicals Fred Astaire and his equally talented sister Adele, the Astaire Awards are the one awards event each year dedicated solely to the hoofers, bunheads, jazzerinas and choreographic geniuses making waves on Broadway, off Broadway and in film.

The 2016 Astaire Awards, which took place last night at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, were eventful, to say the least. The award for Outstanding Choreographer for a Broadway Show went to, not one, not two, but three remarkable dancemakers: tap sensation Savion Glover for Shuffle Along, or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, Sergio Trujillo for his Latin moves in On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan and Broadway golden boy Andy Blankenbuehler for the record-setting Hamilton.

Shuffle Along dominated the awards with additional wins for Best Male Dancer (Phillip Attmore) and Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show. For Outstanding Choreography in a Feature Film, Dave Scott won for the ballet-meets-hip-hop flick High Strung, starring former Mariinsky ballerina Keenan Kampa and The PULSE wunderkind Ian Eastwood.

Special awards went to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater artistic director emerita Judith Jamison, “So You Think You Can Dance” producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe, Broadway and film tap star Maurice Hines and Dr. Joan Fallon for her work with autism and related disorders.

The 2016 Tony Awards are coming up on Sunday, June 12. If the Astaire Awards are any indicator, it will be a stiff competition. Who do you think will take home the coveted award for Best Choreography?

Shuffle Along took home three Astaire Awards and is nominated for 10 Tony Awards.

Photos (from top): courtesy of @theastaireawards; courtesy of @shufflealongbroadway

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Glover in a recent performance of STePz at The Joyce Theater in New York.

Dance Parade New York has announced Savion Glover as this year’s grand marshal. Held each year on a mid-May Saturday, the annual Dance Parade takes advantage of NYC’s diversity to celebrate dance in all its forms. Participants dance through lower Manhattan, demonstrating genres from classical ballet, tap and hip hop to swing and salsa to traditional folk dances from around the world.

On May 17, Glover will lead thousands of participants down Broadway and through the East Village. The event culminates in Tompkins Square park with DanceFest, featuring performances and free lessons for the public.

For more information or to register, visit danceparade.org.

Photo by Elijah Paul

Speak with tap great Savion Glover for only a moment and you’ll immediately feel his reverence for the art form that is tap: “I recognized through the tap giants that I got to work with, like Dianne Walker, Jimmy Slyde, Gregory Hines and Buster Brown, that it was special for me to have been invited to participate in the art form,” says Glover. “They had poured so much time and interest in me that I had no choice but to carry on the tradition for them.”

Glover began studying tap at the age of 7, when his mother signed him up for classes. His career jumped into overdrive when DT July cover subject Frank Hatchett recommended Glover for an audition for the Broadway show The Tap Dance Kid. Once Glover booked the job, he got the chance to study under legendary tappers—and that’s when “the seriousness kicked in with the dance,” he says. “If not for my teachers, I would not be here now. It’s for them that I dance now.”

Glover has done his best to continue to not only preserve the art of tap dance but also pass it on to youngsters in Newark, New Jersey, at his HooFeRzCLuB School for Tap. Glover’s goal for his students is to learn and appreciate dance as an educational tool and historical touchstone.

As fellow DT editor Joe Sullivan has already noted, Glover is currently performing at the Joyce Theater in New York. His three-week show, STePz, ends this Saturday, July 6, so get your tickets while you still can!

Photo courtesy of Savion Glover Productions and Scott Klein

Savion Glover is serious.

Serious talent. Serious about upholding tap history. Serious about having a good time and making the audience feel joy. Serious is the only way to describe the man after seeing the second performance of his new show STePz at The Joyce Theater in New York on Wednesday night.

With Marshall Davis Jr. and 3CW (3 Controversial Women: Ayodele Casel, Robyn Watson and Sarah Savelli), Glover tore up the stage, his feet going for 32nd-note rhythms at times, but often appearing to barely move. The ensemble showed their stuff to a blazing opener from John Coltrane, “Miles Mode,” and went from there to Prince and on to Charlie Parker, Shostakovich and Miles Davis in the first act. The musicality of the group was mind-blowing, as they matched complicated jazz and orchestral runs note for note in unison.

One of the big highlights of the first act saw Glover and Marshall Davis in a face-off set to the “Mission Impossible” theme. Two sets of stairs were unveiled and the duo syncopated their way all over them, smiling the whole time in friendly competition. (Glover and Davis formerly worked together in Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk on Broadway, and the chemistry showed.) Later, in the second act, they got together again for an a cappella number, “Gregory Mode,” an homage to their mentor, Gregory Hines.

Marshall Davis and Savion Glover

The ladies were no slouches either, with feet flying up and down their own staircase to open the second act to Benny Goodman’s “Bugle Call Rag,” before being joined by the men later in the set. Glover took off on his own to the slow title number, “STePz,” set to Sammy Davis Jr. singing, what else, “Mr. Bojangles.”

When the group came out to close the show with “Stevie,” set to Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke,” the crowd was thrilled. Again, Glover and associates matched the horn section’s lines note for note with their feet. Pretty impressive.

That’s two performances down, 19 to go. The show runs until July 6 at The Joyce, with July 4 the only break in the action. See joyce.org and saviongloverproductions.com for more info. Tickets start at just $10.

Photos by Elijah Paul

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