|Frankie Manning in Hellzapoppin', which is considered|
one of the quintessential swing dance performances of all time.
Apparently (according to an un-cited article on wikipedia and backed up by a conversation I had in passing with my instructor... so pretty legitimate sources all around... don't judge me), the Shim Sham was first choreographed by Leonard Reed in 1927 as a tap routine. What started as a comedic act entitled "Goofus" that Leonard Reed and Willie Bryant performed when touring through the South, suddenly turned into a beloved tradition once the duo moved to the Shim Sham Club in New York. At the end of each performance, everyone would go up on stage, dancers, singers, and musicians alike, to perform the Shim Sham Shimmy together (thus renamed on account of the chorus girls' penchant for shimmying). The tap dancers would be more technical in their performance, while singers and musicians could shuffle along at their best depending on how adept they were at dancing.
|How cool would it be to |
see him tap dancing?
Isn't learning fun?!
Though it was a little challenging trying to re-wire my brain to learn a more technically complicated version of a dance I've done hundreds of times, I really enjoyed tap class last night. The dance as a whole was more difficult (especially when we tried speeding it up), but learning some of the steps as they were originally choreographed (or as close to it as we can get now) helped make some things in the swing version click better for me. If nothing else, it's great getting to experience first hand how different dance movements influenced each other.