Bill Robinson – The Man That Began “Modern Tap Dancing”
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson created a whole new style of tap dancing. Before him, tap dancers tapped on their flat feet. He was the first tap dancer to try, what now call, rhythm tap dancing. He tapped on his toes and heels separately rather than tapping flat-footed. He changed the whole basis of tap dancing by being one of the first black tap dancers to start dancing in white movies. He is considered a legend throughout the dancing world; but all legends have their rough spots in life. His happened at the beginning of his life. (Bill)
Bill Robinson was born May 25, 1878. As a child he and his little brother switched names. Bill Robinson’s real name is Luther Robinson. He hated the name Luther so much, that he threated his little brother into switching names with him. (Wikipedia-Bill) Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was orphaned as a child. His father died from chronic heart disease and his mother from natural causes. After both his parents passed away, his grandmother took care of him and his brother. She loved and nurtured them both. Even though both his parents passed away, it did not affect his strong passion for performing. At the age of six he began performing in local bars. He even quit school at the age of seven to pursue his love for performing. (Wikipedia-Bill) Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was not only a dancer but also a vaudeville performer (William). Vaudeville was the term for the live performances that took place in theatres throughout the country, in big and little towns. People acted out many random one act plays that had nothing to do with each other. There were singing acts and comedy acts and burlesque acts and dance acts (Hall). Bill Robinson performed both as a dancer and as a vaudeville actor at a young age (Biography). In 1886, Bill toured with his first company named Mayme Remington’s troupe which was located in Washington, DC (Wikipedia-Bill). Then in 1891, at the...
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