Throughout history, there have been many tap dancers who have caught the eye of audiences everywhere. Each tap dancer has there own unique style that has in some way, shape, or form contributed to tap dance as we now know it today.
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson: He is most well-known as the father of tap dance. He was born May 25, 1878 in Richmond, Virginia. His birth name is Luther Robinson, but he forced his brother to switch names with him, so he became known as Bill or “Bojangles”. Both of his parents died when he was nine years old, so his grandmother, Bedilia raised him. His career took off with vaudeville performances, and he later appeared on Broadway and had numerous roles in Hollywood films. One of his most famous roles in a film was “The Little Colonel” which also starred Shirley Temple.
Shirley Temple: She was known as “America’s Sweetheart” and wowed the world with her young talent in singing, dancing, and acting during the Great Depression. Shirley Temple was born on April 23, 1928 in Santa Monica, California. She started dance lessons in Los Angeles, at the young age of three. Her first, major film appearance was Stand Up and Cheer. She instantly became a national sensation during the Great Depression. Throughout her career, Shirley Temple appeared in over 40 movies and films.
Savion Glover: He is believed to be one of the most influential tap dancers of this century. Savion essentially brought tap dancing back to the world with a whole new style that he calls, “free style hard core”. He is most well-known for his appearance in the Broadway musical, “The Tap Dance Kid.” In 1996, he won a Tony award for Best Choreography “Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk.” Not only is he known for his outstanding dancing, but he is also known for his incredible choreography. One of his biggest roles in a film was Mumble, the tap dancing penguin in Happy Feet.
Fred Astaire: He was most well-known for his graceful and elegance dancing. He started off performing on vaudeville with his sister, Adele. In 1933, he appeared in Dancing Lady with Joan Crawford. But, it wasn’t until later that year that he landed a huge role with Ginger Rogers in Flying Down To Rio. Soon, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire became known as a dynamic duo. They were famous for their unique style of dance that combined principles from tap, ballroom, and ballet.