Fascinating Rhythms…Jazz Tap

Fri Jan 15, 1988 - Sat Jan 16, 1988

Jimmy Slyde and Dianne Walker performed two gala performances on January 15th and 16th at the Opera Lab Theatre, the University of Texas.


Jazz tap, also known as rhythm tap, was born of many cultural influences. Like jazz music, it was brought to creative heights in Black America, with a continuing impact that has been felt around the world. Jazz tap requires extraordinary technique, and that the performer is both musician and dancer, composer and choreographer. For audiences, it asks that we not only see, but hear-as the performer uses his or her body as a percussive instrument and the floor as the head of a drum.

Jazz tap is an intensely personal art. It is rooted in improvisation with rhythms that can speak from the heart of the quest for freedom, spontaneity, community and individual expression. Long neglected, this vital art experienced renewed recognition at this time.

This event included a master workshop comprised of a lecture, demonstration and video screening. It took place on Saturday, January 16th, and interested local tap dancers were invited to participate.

Dianne Walker and Jimmie Slyde spoke about and demonstrated rhythm tap, various tap techniques, and showed videos of tap “Greats” including Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, the Nicholes Brothers, John Bubbles, Leon Collins, and many others.