The Danny Daniels Tap Experience
May 24-26, 2008
This past workshop in the Tradition In Tap - Series
was dedicated to the work of Legendary Broadway Choreographer:
Mr. Danny Daniels
This Exciting Tap Workshop Included:
- Original Choreography created by the 'Master' himself
and taught by his direct protégés.
- Honorary Master Classes by leading tap artists.
- Participants Showcase.
- Tradition In Tap - Award Ceremony.
- Tap History Talks.
- Video Presentation.
- Tap Technique.
- 'Dance Teacher Recognizes' certificate (For Teachers Only).
- Special Program for Young Tappers.
Danny Daniels Video Clip
Danny Daniels has had an extensive career as dancer, choreographer, director, and teacher. Born in Albany, New York, Danny Daniels was already a 'pro' by the age of nine, dancing in clubs and private parties in and around the Albany area. At the age of fourteen Danny made his film debut dancing with Bing Crosby in 'The Star Maker' (1939) and at sixteen his Broadway debut in the George Abbot musical 'Best Foot Forward' (1941) with choreography by Gene Kelley. He subsequently danced leading roles on Broadway in many shows and received Tony nominations for two of them, 'Billion Dollar Baby' (1946) and 'Street Scene' (1947).
In 1952 Mr. Daniels collaborated with the distinguished American composer Morton Gould on the creation of the 'Tap Dance Concerto'. He danced this work with all the major symphony orchestras in this country as well as in London and Berlin with the London Philharmonic and the Berlin Symphony. This concerto was an innovation and brought tap dancing to a concert level never before achieved.
On Broadway Danny Daniels has choreographed over fourteen musicals. He received a Tony award for his outstanding choreography for 'The Tap Dance Kid' (1984), and Tony nominations for 'All American' (1962), 'High Spirits' (1964), 'Walking Happy' (1966), and 'Annie Get Your Gun' (Lincoln Center revival 1966). He also choreographed the highly acclaimed Italian show 'Ciao Rudy' with Marcello Mastrianni. He began directing with a revival of 'Best Foot Forward' (1963) launching the career of a young new talent named Liza Minelli, following this with the Ahmanson Theatre of Los Angeles' production of 'Love Match' (1968) and his own revue for children which he also wrote and choreographed, 'Stuff 'n Nonsense' (1971).
Mr Daniels' work can be seen in the movies 'Pennies From Heaven', Woody Allen's 'Zelig', Stephen Spielberg's 'Indiana Jones', and 'Stepping Out' with Liza Minelli.
He has choreographed over 200 television shows for such stars as Perry Como, Judy Garland, Danny Kaye, Dick Van Dyke, Bing Crosby, John Denver, and Gene Kelly. Mr. Kelly asked Danny to dance with him and choreograph for his last television special, completing a cycle that began with Danny's first Broadway show thirty years earlier.
In 1974 Mr. Daniels decided it was time to start a dance company of his own, one that would explore dance forms indigenous to this country, specifically tap. He realized he would have to train his own dancers, thus opening his school in Santa Monica, CA. With his wife Bea and his eldest son D.J. Giagni, he began to train dancers and three years later the Danny Daniels Dance America Company made its debut in Los Angeles. The company toured with John Denver, toured nine states in the western United States on a Columbia Community Concerts Tour in 1977, and made many concert appearances in Los Angeles, delighting audiences with a history of tap dancing.
Mr. Daniels has put out four wonderful records of music specifically to teach tap dance with, and a series of video tapes recording his routines for classes.
Click on a name for extended bio and pictures
The Danny Daniels Tap Experience,
an intensive weekend of exciting events, included:
Maggie Danielsen, Germaine Salsberg, Jimmy Tate
& Rod Ferrone
- Original Choreography: Coming Home with Maggie Danielsen.
Maggie Danielsen, Mr. Daniels' protégé, taught an original routine named Coming Home. This routine is part of Danny Daniels' repertory, and was taught in whole.
- Original Choreography: Jive with Germaine Salsberg.
Germaine Salsberg, Mr. Daniels' protégé, taught an original routine named Jive. This routine is part of Danny Daniels' repertory.
- Original Choreography: Tap Dance Kid with Jimmy Tate
Jimmy Tate, one of the original 'Tap Dance Kids', taught an original segment from the Broadway Show The Tap Dance Kid choreographed by Mr. Daniels.
- Hat Routine: with Rod Ferrone
Mr. Daniels was known to incorporate props such as hats and canes into his routines. Rod Ferrone, a well known tap performer and an expert in hat tricks, taught a segment of a routine using hats.
Due to his inability to travel in person, Mr. Daniels had graciously authorized us to use his choreography, routines, protégés and live interview so that he was present in every aspect of this Danny Daniels Tap Experience.
Honorary Tap Master Classes:
Mark Santoro, Horace Turnbull, Michael Minery
& Prof. Robert L. Reed
Two of Mr. Daniels' protégés, Mark Santoro and Horace Turnbull, along with leading tap artists, Michael Minery and Prof. Robert L. Reed, taught reflections on Danny Daniels' legacy through their personal work. Each drew on Daniels' influence and contribution to his own career.
Tradition In Tap - Award Ceremony:
Tradition In Tap - Committee Members
On February 9, 2008, members of the Tradition In Tap Board and Advisory Committee traveled to Los Angeles and conducted an emotional award ceremony at Mr. Daniels' home, in the presence of his family and friends. Segments of this footage was shown at the workshop.
The Tradition In Tap Award was given to Mr. Danny Daniels by Mr. Skip Cunningham, a TIT Advisory Committee member, for: "Outstanding Achievements & Significant Contribution To The Tradition And Art Of Tap Dance".
During The Danny Daniels Tap Experience On May 25, 2008, The Tradition In Tap Award was given to Prof. Jo Rowan, Mr. John Bedford, and Prof. Robert L. Reed by Ms. Kathleen Cirioli and Prof. Clare O'Donnell, TIT Advisory Committee members, for: "Outstanding Achievements & Significant Contribution To The Tradition And Art Of Tap Dance"
Tap History Talks:
Melba Huber is one of the very few who write about the history of tap and the many artists who play / played important roles in tap development & growth. She led the 'Tap History Talks' while presenting video segments from the interview that was conducted by Germaine Salsberg in Los Angeles on February 9, 2008. She also interviewed Danny Daniels' friends and protégés who were present in the audience and added her own personal insight.
Prof. Hank Smith
Hank Smith is a well known tap dancer, and collector of video & movie clips. He has an extensive library of material starting from the early days of tap dance. Hank presented some clips of Danny Daniels and of his work, on film and video.
Germaine Salsberg, Shea Sullivan, Avi Miller & Ofer Ben
Warm-up for each day with Germaine Salsberg, Shea Sullivan, Avi Miller & Ofer Ben, who led morning tap drills - each with his/her own unique teaching style.
A happy event concluded the first day of classes in this exciting Danny Daniels Tap Experience. Germaine Salsberg emceed an informal Participants Showcase at the Peter Norton Symphony Space - Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater in the presence of the 'Master Himself', Danny Daniels.
Danny Daniels with Maggie Danielsen
John Denver NBC Television Special The late 70s
To My Danny... From Your Liza
The Danny Daniels Dance America Company - Columbia Artist Tour
L to R: Maggie Danielsen, Danny Daniels, Mary Reddington and DJ Giagni