What a fun day!
1) Today I learned about Willie Covan. Willie started out as a black pick in a white vaudeville show. He later formed a group called “The Four Covans” with his siblings. He was on Broadway in “Shuffle Along”. Eleanor Powell made him the head dance instructor of MGM Studios. The created the Waltz Clog and Around the World – without hands. He taught himself tap from the street cars of Chicago.
I also learned how to do a Waltz Clog, Double Waltz Clog, and a Double Waltz Clog Pullback. I want to use these elements from Willie in my tap dance.
2) Next I need to learn more about tappers over the week and what steps they created so I can start choreographing my tap dance. I also need to make a slide show with all the information I’m going to present.
Yay more SIPS! Here’s what I learned today.
1) Where to start? To start I’m reading TAP! by Rusty Frank. With this book I’m learning about the history of tap and different famous tap dancers.
What needs to happen first? I need to read and learn about tap so I can make my slide show.
2) What I learned.
First, tap was all the jazz and everyone wanted to hear it, to be apart of it. Then we hit World War 1. Once the tragedy ended everything sky rocketed. By the mid – 20’s the economy had gone up, because everyone was spending. People went to night clubs and imitated the Hollywood Stars. This sparked yo a time period know as the jazz age. There was jazz style, jazz poetry, and jazz dance also known a tap dance. There are different kinds of from Flash, to legomania, to eccentric, class and soft shoe.
Most of the tap dancers who traveled west were boys 12 or younger. They brought special punch to the shows and was given very unique name because of it: pickaninny, “pick” for short. Many tap dancers spent their years as picks. The picks age range was from 6-12.
I’m excited to get to work on our SIPS project. It’s a great opportunity to learn about things we are interested in! So here we go!
1) I want to learn about all the famous tap dancers. I want to know what inspired them and their different techniques. I want to watch them and try to pick up ideas for my own tap dances. I want to see the different idea’s they had and how they managed to become so well know. I want to watch them express themselves through dance. I think it would be really cool to understand how life was back then.
2) Can I inspire others through this?
Where will I get the info?
Will learning about these things help me?
3) I was thinking about creating a power point with all the information I gain about famous tap dancers. To go along with the slide show I wanted to choreograph a dance of my own and perform it. With the power point I want to educate others about the famous tap dancers and how they came to be. I also want to show them the fancy things they do with tap dancing. With the dance I hope to inspire others. I hope to take people away from their everyday life. I want them to relax. I hope to send a message across to them through the dance.
4) If I need help (and I probably will) I will turn to my tap teacher Wendi Isaacson. She could help me with my dance. She is amazing at making dances flow and it could help me improve my choreography. She could also teach me different, harder moves to include in my dance.