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Tommy Sutton

Tommy Sutton

Tommy Sutton (1918 — January 7, 1995) Prior to entering a teaching career, Tommy Sutton experienced a full period of professional career as a performer and choreographer. He performed with such notables as “Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fats Waller Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole and many others. He performed in numerous night […]

Bill “Bojangles” Robinson

Bill “Bojangles” Robinson

Bill “Bojangles” Robinson  (May 25, 1878 – November 25, 1949) Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was an American tap dancer and actor, the best known and most highly paid African American entertainer in the first half of the twentieth century. His long career mirrored changes in American entertainment tastes and technology, starting in the age of minstrel […]

Leonard Reed

Leonard Reed

Leonard Reed (January 7, 1907, – April 5, 2004) Leonard Reed was an American tap dancer, co-creator with his partner, Willie Bryant, of the famous Shim Sham Shimmy (Goofus) dance routine. Born in Lightning Creek, Oklahoma, near Nowata, on January 7, 1907, a mix of black, white and Choctaw. His mother died of pneumonia when […]

Harold Lloyd Nicholas

Harold Lloyd Nicholas

Harold Lloyd Nicholas (March 27, 1921 – July 3, 2000) Harold Lloyd Nicholas was an American dancer specializing in tap. He was the younger half of the world-famous tap dancing pair the Nicholas Brothers, known as two of the world’s greatest dancers. His older brother was Fayard Nicholas. Harold was married to actress Dorothy Dandridge […]

Fayard Antonio Nicholas

Fayard Antonio Nicholas

Fayard Antonio Nicholas (October 20, 1914 – January 24, 2006) Fayard Antonio Nicholas (October 20, 1914 – January 24, 2006) was an American choreographer, dancer and actor. He, along with his brother Harold, made up the Nicholas Brothers tap-dance duo who starred in the MGM musicals An All-Colored Vaudeville Show (1935), Stormy Weather (1943), The […]

Gregory Oliver Hines

Gregory Oliver Hines

 Gregory Oliver Hines (February 14, 1946 – August 9, 2003) Born in New York City to Maurice Hines Sr. and Alma Hines, Gregory Hines began tapping when he was two years old, and began dancing semi-professionally at the age of five. Since then, he and his older brother Maurice performed together, studying with choreographer Henry […]

Charles “Honi” Coles

Charles “Honi” Coles

Charles “Honi” Coles (April 2, 1911 – November 12, 1992) Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Charles “Honi” Coles developed his high-speed rhythm tapping on the streets of his hometown. He first went to New York City as one of the Three Millers, who were known for their intricate and difficult dance steps executed on tiny platforms. He later returned […]

Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates

Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates

  Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates (October 11, 1907 – December 8, 1998) Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates was an Afro-American entertainer from Fountain Inn, South Carolina. Bates lost a leg at the age of 12 in a cotton gin accident. He subsequently taught himself to  tap dance with a wooden peg leg. His uncle, Wit, made […]