National Tap Dance Day Celebration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Information: Jeanette Powers, General Manager uptownartsbar@gmail.com: Email 816-960-4611, Venue phone www.uptownartsbar.com

Kansas City, Mo.

Saturday, May 24, 7-9p Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway KCMO 64111 $5 Cover

Headline: National Tap Dance Day

National Tap Dance Day falls on May 25 every year and is a celebration of tap dancing as an American art form. The idea of National Tap Dance Day was first presented to the United States Congress on February 7, 1989 and was signed into American law by President George H.W. Bush on November 8, 1989.

Promoted by Billie Mahoney, National Tap Dance Day has been celebrated in Kansas City at various venues since 1993, when, sponsored by the Elder Statesmen of Jazz, more than a hundred tap dancers participated in the Count Basie Room of the former Muehlebach Hotel. In 2001 the American Jazz Museum and Gem Theater were the venues, and Mahoney invited Carole Vaughn to come to KC, as well as Fayard Nicolas of the famed Nicolas Brothers, Cholly Atkins, the partner of Honi Coles in the dance act Coles and Atkins, Prince Spencer of the Four Step Brothers, and Norma Miller of the original Lindy Hoppers. Mahoney led a Panel Discussion about Bill Robinson, whom the participants had known and worked with, and interesting anecdotes were shared. Also included was Chicago tapper, Tré Dumas III. All taught Master Classes and KC’s own McFadden Brothers emceed the exciting performance that night at the Gem Theater.

This year, in coordination with City In Motion Dance Theater and Billie Mahoney, The Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway, will host National Tap Dance Day for the second year and celebrate the 136th birthday of tap dancing legend Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, on Saturday evening, May 24, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. All levels of tap dancers over the age of eighteen are invited to participate in a jam session led by Ms. Mahoney. Mike Ning will be on keyboard, and Victor Perelmuter on drums and musicians are invited to bring their instruments and join in the Jam Session. Jazz and Tap Dance enthusiasts are invited to join in the fun.

HISTORICAL RELEVANCE

National Tap Dance Day was the brainchild of Carol Vaughn, Nicola Daval, and Linda Christensen in Washington, D.C. and they petitioned U.S. Congressional Representative John Conyers to introduce the bill. Congressman Conyers is well known as a patron of the arts, and is renowned for his love of jazz. As a federal legislator, he has successfully fought for greater recognition and funding for jazz, and in 1987, the United States Congress passed Conyers’ House Concurrent Resolution 57 designating jazz a "national American treasure."

On February 7, 1989 the Congressman won passage of a resolution commemorating tap dance, a form of dance closely associated with jazz, to declare May 25, the birth date of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, as the day to celebrate the Art of Tap Dance Nationwide. The date was deemed appropriate for this holiday because Bill Robinson was a significant contributor to tap dance. For more information contact Billie Mahoney, 816-333-7935.

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