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Photo by Jacqueline Chang, courtesy of Ailey Extension

Marshall Davis Jr.'s introduction to tap dance began at 10 years old at African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, where his father is director, in Miami, Florida. Training began in sneakers and dress shoes that Davis Jr. did his best to get sound out of. "My father was reluctant to invest in tap shoes, because he thought it was likely I would change my mind about dancing," he says. But it didn't take long before Davis Jr.'s passion for tap became undeniable, and his father bought him his first pair of tap shoes. Just one year later, Davis Jr. became the 1989 Florida winner for the Tri-Star Pictures Tap Day contest, a promotion for the movie Tap, starring Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr. Through that experience, a new tap-dancing future was opened.

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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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Dance Teachers Trending

The celebration of tap dance legend Bill "Bojangles" Robinson's birthday comes each year May 25, and the dance world goes wild for it! Since 1989 the day has been celebrated by tap lovers everywhere through music, movement and festivals.

Interested in joining the party this year? Here's one special way to celebrate NTDD in 2019.

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Dance Teachers Trending
Photo courtesy of the Giagni family

Broadway choreographer Danny Daniels passed away on July 7 in Santa Monica, California, at age 92. Daniels was known for his choreography in musicals, such as Walking Happy, Annie Get Your Gun and The Tap Dance Kid, for which he won the 1984 Tony Award for best choreography.

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Dance News
Photo courtesy of the Syncopated Ladies

Tomorrow night, L.A.'s fiercest lady hoofers are lighting up the stage at the Ford Amphitheater in Hollywood. Chloé's Arnold's Syncopated Ladies present Syncopated Ladies: Live Concert—a one-night-only tap-dance extravaganza.

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Dance News
Duke Ellington (right) with John Bubbles in a scene from Cabin in the Sky (1943). Photo courtesy of the New York Public Library

Tomorrow night at 7 pm, the American Tap Dance Foundation will host a special performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Appel Room in honor of legendary jazz pianist and composer Duke Ellington. The program, aptly titled "Tap Ellington," will feature the Duke Ellington Center's Big Band and tap stars like Tony Waag, Brenda Bufalino, Sam Weber, Sarah Reich and Josette and Joseph Wiggan.

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Dance News
Joseph Wiggan and Josette Wiggan-Freund in Harmony: Tap in Motion. Photo by Christopher Duggan, courtesy of Jacob's Pillow

This summer at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, tap program director Michelle Dorrance curated a mixed repertory program that showcased the best of the best in tap innovation. Four extremely diverse acts graced the stage of the Ted Shawn Theatre for a one-of-a-kind tap extravaganza. Here are three of our favorite tap trends that we hope to see much more of.

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Win It!

What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing

By Brian Seibert

Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 624 pages; $18

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