Monday, August 11, 2008

Willie Covan

"Poetry in Motion"Willie Covan, in his day, was as well-known as Bill " Bojangles" Robinson or Buck & Bubbles, but this dancer hung up his tap shoes as a performer just before vaudeville surrendered to talking (and singing and dancing) movies. He went to Hollywood where he opened a dance studio and became MGM's resident choreographer and dance coach to Eleanor Powell (who insisted that MGM hire him), Ann Miller, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney.
Covan is our historic artist of the week in my tap class. I love the history behind the arts as much as I love the art. It never ceases to amaze me how history influences the arts. Covan like many other tap artists endured the segregation that existed but found the arts to be a place where those boundaries were broken among the artists. Covan became a performer at the age of 6 and toured until the age of 12. After touring, Covan started the "Four Covans" which toured, and choreographed and taught classes.

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