Tag Archives: tap dance history

National Tap Dance Day Toronto

29 May

Bill Robinson and Shirley Temple

Happy National Tap Dance Day to all the hoofers, tap dance supporters, teachers, photographers, videographers, researchers and everyone who continues to share the love of tap dance.

We honour the birthday of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson (May 25th, 1878) who opened the doors for tapdancers around the world to perform on film.

Bojangles was famous for his work teaching and performing with Shirley Temple (in photograph). He was a left-footed tapdancer, light on his toes, with a charming stage presence.

His personal life not as charming, and Bojangles used alcohol as a councellor. Despite his private life’s worries, Bill Robinson left a historic impression and memory for all tap dancers worldwide.

Toronto has an annual celebration at Nathan Phillips Square, 12 pm. [*UPDATE: Unfortunately there is NO performance in 2010] Cities around the world continue the celebration with shows, screenings, lectures and tap dance classes from pioneers of the art to the next generation of tap instructors and choreographers.

Here’s footage of myself performing at City Hall in honour of “Mr Bojangles”

Dance is universal. I encourage you to keep the dance alive and support the art form however you can,  where ever you are!

– Shawn Byfield


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