Tap Dance History

From Vaudeville to Film

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Price: $49.95

This one-of-a-kind DVD is a collection of rarely seen original film footage from Soundies and short films of the 1930’s and 1940’s. The films come from the private collection of Mark Cantor’s Celluloid Improvisations Music Film Archive, a collection of 4000 preserved jazz-musicals , and from the Ernie Smith Jazz Film Collection, of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

Every selection has been carefully researched by Andrew J. Nemr of the The Tap Legacy™ Foundationand was selected to educate and enlighten dance professionals and aficionados. The narration adds background information on the legendary performers in this DVD, such as  Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Bill Mahoney, The Berry Brothers, Slick and Slack, Juanita Pitts, and Stump and Stumpy.

DVD run time: 45 minutes

Informative and very entertaining, this is highly recommended. Video Librarian May-June 2011
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Andrew Nemr
The Tap Legacy™ Foundation

Mark Cantor
Celluloid Improvisations Music Film Archive

Archives Center. National Museum of American History
Ernie Smith Jazz film Collection
Smithsonian Institute

Courtesy of:
The Rusty E. Frank Dance Archive
The Tap Legacy™ Foundation

Stuart Math


Bill “Bojangles” Robinson: “Harlem is Heaven’ (1932)
Dancer in Black Face: “The Musical Beauty Shop” (1930)
Will Mahoney: “She’s My Lilly” (1934)
”Rubberneck” Holmes:  “The Notorious Elinor Lee.”  (1940)
Juanita Pitts,:  “It Happened in Harlem” (1945)
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson: “By An Old Southern River (1942)


Slick and Slack: “It Happened In Harlem” (1945)
Stump and Stumpy: “Boarding House Blues” (1948)
The Berry Brothers: “Boarding House Blues” (1948)

Chorus Lines

Chorus Line: “Ten Minutes to Live” (1932)
Chorus Line: “The Musical Beauty Shop” (1930)
Chorus Line with Bill Robinson: “Harlem is Heaven” (1932)

Novelty Acts

Tap Dance Roller Skaters: “She’s My Lilly” (1934)
Roller Skating Duo  (1930)

3 DVD Set – African American Dance Influences: Streets to Stage


Tap Dance History: From Vaudeville to Film is an educational and entertaining look at the tap dancing era of the 1930s and 1940s. I recommend it to anyone who wishes to learn more about the historical side of tap dancing or who simply desires to be inspired by some amazing performances. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

This fascinating collection of tap and novelty dance performances from American stage and film in the 1930s and 1940s depicts the evolution of the dance form and its connection to a variety of performing arts as well as athletic styles… This fine film will be best appreciated by dance students and fans as well as those interested in vaudeville and African American entertainment. Library Journal

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