Briggs appeared in Black and Blue as well as many
other shows, clubs and circuits. He is highly respected by other
tap dancers and appeared as the soloist in Black and Blue.
Buster Brown, a member of the Copasetics, is keeping
tap alive each Sunday Evening at a New York night club, Swing 46,
where he hosts and gives many dancers an opportunity to perform.
Atkins, partner of Honi Coles, of the team Coles and
Atkins, developed the art of vocal choreography and did Motown
choreography. He also won a Tony for his work in Black and Blue.
Class Act is a new book on his life.
Nicholas, of the Nicholas Brothers, leaves a collection
of dance movies that still hold up as the best tap dancing of the
century. He is a Tony Award® winner for Black and Blue.
LeTang is the choreographer
of the movies Tap and Cotton Club. Broadway shows for which
he has choreographed include Sophisticated Ladies, Black
and Blue, Eubie and others. He is a Tony Award® Winner
for Black and Blue and considered the best Broadway tap choreographer.
LeGon is the first female black tap dancer to have been
given a contract with a major Hollywood studio. She has made many
films and danced with Bill Bojangles Robinson. She continues to
teach and is the subject of a documentary filmed in Canada. She
had a performance and film career in Europe in addition to her US
Slyde continues a performing career and is known as a
musical tap dancer. He enjoyed a career in Europe and toured with
all the major big bands.
Reed represents Vaudeville, having been a performer and
producer (even produced the shows for Joe Lewis, the boxer) in addition
to the Apollo and Cotton Club. He is probably the best living authority
on the Vaudeville circuits, theatre and nightclub shows from the
Spencer was a member of the Four Step Brothers
for 29 years. The Four Step Brothers pioneered many tap innovations
including "the challenge." They made movies and danced
with the Duke Ellington band for many years at the Cotton Club.
Legends in American Dance Honored at Oklahoma City University
City University makes history this month as its School of American
Dance and Arts Management and the Robert L. Reed Tap Heritage Institute
pay tribute to nine world-famous African-American tap dancers by
conferring upon them the honorary degree Doctor of Performing Arts
in American dance.
tap performers being honored are Tony Award® winner and Motown
choreographer Cholly Atkins; Bunny Briggs, creator of the "paddle
and roll" style; James "Buster" Brown, a member of
the Copasetics Club; James T. "Jimmy Slyde" Godbolt; Jeni
LeGon, film star and protégé of Bill "Bojangles"
Robinson; Tony Award® winner Henry LeTang; Tony Award®
winner Fayard Nicholas, of The Nicholas Brothers; Leonard Reed,
considered the foremost living authority on Vaudeville; and Prince
Spencer, of The Four Step Brothers.
nine great dancers have made significant contributions to American
dance and culture," said John Bedford, dean of Oklahoma City
University's School of American Dance and Arts Management. "We
are honored to recognize and celebrate their careers, which have
entertained and inspired millions of people throughout the world."
nine will receive their honorary degrees during a sold-out gala
celebration at Oklahoma City University Feb. 22 and 23. Numerous
dance dignitaries will be attending and performing at the event,
which is planned for February in order to be part of National Black
History Month and is also an official event of National Dance Week
performers include Ulrike Dinger, Robert L. Reed, Michela Lerman,
Margaret Morrison and Tony Waag, Avi Miller and Offer Ben, Nicole
Hockenberry and others. Gregory Hines is sending a congratulatory
speech to be read, and a video message from Ben Vereen will be shown.
Master class --Ulrike Singer
For Tap B dancers, others may observe Dance Studio D, Children's
Center for the Arts
History of Tap, by Tap Columnist Melba Huber with Robert L.
Reed dancing - Scarab Room in Student/Faculty Center
hosted by Black Student Association and Students of Arts Management
- Goldbug Lounge in Student/Faculty Center
- Goldbug Lounge in Student Faculty Center
Doctorate Banquet - SOLD OUT
- Michela Lerman (New York Tap Festival)
- Margaret Morrison & Tony Waag (American Tap Orchestra)
- Avi Miller & Ofer Ben (The Israeli Hoofers)
- Nicole Hockenberry (Manhatten Tap)
- Robert L. Reed, Rob Reed, & Robyn Reed as The Six
Feet of Rhythm
- St. Louis Hoofers Club
- Dianne Walker (Lady Di from Boston)
Treasure in American Dance Awards
- Tap Jam (tap dancers bring your shoes and join in)
events are free and open to the public except for the Honorary Doctorate
School of America
Dance and Arts Management