The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience

Nov. 7-9, 2008

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This past workshop in the Tradition In Tap - Series
was dedicated to the work of Legendary Be-Bop Tap Master,
'The Ambassador of Tap':

Prof. Ardie Bryant

The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience
Left picture is from a performance with Nat "King" Cole at Carnegie Hall NYC 1953

Pictures Taken in Classes
The Workshop's Poster
Participants Showcase - Program
Workshop Faculty
Workshop Description

This Exciting Tap Workshop Included:
  • Original Choreography taught by the 'Master' himself.
  • 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.

The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience
Ardie at the Apollo Theater.

The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience
Ardie celebrates his 76th birthday with his students.


Ardie Bryant known worldwide as the Innovator of Modern Jazz Tap and the Ambassador of Tap is a master jazz tap percussionist, tap historian, educator, director, composer, arranger, actor, choreographer and musician with eight decades of professional experience. He is both a participant in, and a contributor to, the history of the American art form tap and is one of the last living links to a generation of master dancers.

Ardie began performing at the age of five in his hometown of Dallas, Texas. In his teens, he was influenced by the music of modern jazz giants Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and developed a new style of tap he named modern jazz tap. To further enhance the sounds of his percussive feet, Ardie designed his unique drum platform. Using the platform like a musical instrument, he created a pyrotechnic display of jazz tap percussion.

During his career, Ardie has been privileged to perform with such legendary artists as, Duke Ellington, Nat 'King' Cole, Count Basie, Kate Smith, Fred Allen, Woody Herman, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan, Cab Calloway, Ruth Brown, Lionel Hampton, Erroll Garner, Charles Mingus, Art Tatum, Lester Young, Billy May and Illinois Jacquet.

He appeared at all the major venues including The Palace, Paramount, Apollo Theaters and Carnegie Hall, and toured worldwide as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United States Department of Defense.

His dance memories and the sounds of his percussive feet are preserved in the Archives Center of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

In 2006, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs declared him a Los Angeles Cultural Treasure and named him the Ambassador of Tap for the City of LA.

As a young man, Ardie had the honor of being mentored by Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson. He told him that he was the world's original bebop dancer and that he had 'educated feet and ankles'. He advised him to live a clean life because some day he may have to carry on the art form. Ardie promised him that he would dedicate himself to the preservation of tap and pass his knowledge on to the next generation as it was passed on to him.

To fulfill that promise, Ardie has designed and developed a jazz tap technique and tap history curriculum that he has been teaching for several years, first at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and currently at California State University, Los Angeles. So much of the authentic dance of his era was never recorded on film, it happened spontaneously in live venues. In his lectures, Ardie brings his unique perspective to the decades of the 1940's, 50's and 60's. He recreates an entire era of tap with personal memories and rare footage from his own library. In addition, he explores the roots of tap going back to its inception in the 19th Century, bringing attention to the innovators of this magnificent American art form.

Ardie also volunteers his time as an inspirational speaker bringing his own brand of positive energy to schools, community service organizations, and inner city youth and senior centers. He recently was honored to receive the 'Legend Award' for his work in the Los Angeles senior community, from the prestigious St. Barnabas Senior Services Center at their 100th anniversary gala.

In his 80th year Ardie still continues to perform. He starred at the Calgary Stampede and recently appeared at The Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and The Luckman Jazz Orchestra, celebrating Duke Ellington's Sacred Music. He also appeared in a worldwide Pepsi commercial with Britney Spears and can be seen in the most recent IPOD commercial.

The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience
In July 2006, Prof. Bryant received the Los Angeles Cultural Treasure Award
and is declared 'The Ambassador Of Tap' for the city of Los Angeles.

The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience
Receiving the Los Angeles City Council Award
for his community service.

More about Prof. Ardie Bryant can be found at:

The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience
Prof. Bryant with Tap Historian Melba Huber
picture taken at The St. Louis Tap Festival - 2000

Workshop Faculty:
Click on a name for extended bio and pictures

The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience
  • Bril Barrett
  • Ofer Ben
  • Prof. Ardie Bryant
  • Melba Huber
  • Avi Miller
  • Andrew Nemr
  • Prof. Clare O'Donnell
  • Prof. Robert L. Reed
  • Germaine Salsberg
  • Lynn Schwab
  • Prof. Hank Smith
  • Shea Sullivan
  • Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards

  • Workshop Description:
    The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience,
    an intensive weekend of exciting events, included:

    Tap Course:
    Prof. Ardie Bryant
    • Original Choreography: 'Rhythm Talk'
      Prof. Ardie Bryant taught an original routine named 'Rhythm Talk'. This routine is part of Prof. Bryant's repertory.

    Honorary Tap Master Classes:
    Bril Barrett, Andrew Nemr, Prof. Robert L. Reed,
    Germaine Salsberg, Lynn Schwab,
    Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards & Shea Sullivan

      Seven leading tap artists taught reflections on Prof. Ardie Bryant's legacy through their personal work. Each drew on Bryant's influence and contribution to his / her own career.

    Tradition In Tap - Award Ceremony:
    Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards
      Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards presented Prof. Ardie Bryant with the Tradition In Tap Award for: "Outstanding Achievements & Significant Contribution To The Tradition And Art Of Tap Dance".

    Tap History Talks:
    Melba Huber
      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 emotional 'Tap History Talks' while interviewing Prof. Bryant, and adding her own personal insight.

    Video Presentation:
    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 Ardie Bryant and of his work, on film and video.

    Tap Exercises:
    Prof. Clare O'Donnell, Germaine Salsberg, Shea Sullivan, Avi Miller & Ofer Ben
      Warm-up for each day with Germaine Salsberg, Prof. Clare O'Donnell, Shea Sullivan, Avi Miller & Ofer Ben, who led morning tap drills - each with his/her own unique teaching style.

    Participants Showcase:
    Germaine Salsberg
      A happy event concluded the second day of classes in this exciting Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience. Germaine Salsberg emceed an informal Participants Showcase at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center in the presence of the 'Master Himself', Prof. Ardie Bryant.

    The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience
    Prof. Bryant's California State University - LA Jazz Tap Corps students
    clicking their heels for Black History Month

    The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience
    Students share Tap History with the crowd

    The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap ExperienceThe Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience
    Prof. Bryant working with The Challenger's Boys and Girls Club is South Central Los Angeles.

    The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap ExperienceThe Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience
    Young Challenger - Cory - interviewing Ardie for the Challenger's Radio Station.

    The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience
    Prof. Ardie Bryant with wife - Anne , and son - David.

    The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience
    Prof. Ardie Bryant being interviewed for KTLA News in Los Angeles
    for 'People Who Make A Difference'.

    The Prof. Ardie Bryant Tap Experience
    Ardie performing at The Walt Disney Concert Hall
    honoring Duke Ellington in 2004, with the Los Angeles Master Chorale.
    (Photo - LA Times)