The Skip Cunningham Tap Experience

May 23-25, 2009

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This past workshop in the Tradition In Tap - Series
was dedicated to the work of Song & Dance Master:

Skip Cunningham


The Skip Cunningham Tap Experience The Skip Cunningham Tap Experience





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





This Exciting Tap Workshop Included:
  • 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.




LA Tap Festival Leonard Reed Longevity AwardChicago Human Rhythm Project Juba AwardRhythm Tap Hall of Fame Master Tapper Award
L to R: LA Tap Festival Leonard Reed Longevity Award; Chicago Human Rhythm Project Juba Award;
Rhythm Tap Hall of Fame Master Tapper Award


Skip with Ed Sullivan
Skip with Ed Sullivan





The Skip Cunningham Tap Experience





About:

Skip Cunningham is a tap dancer and master entertainer who has worked in virtually every venue of the show business industry for his entire life. He has been featured on dozens of television shows including the Steve Harvey Show, the Smothers Brothers, Sanford and Son, the Richard Pryor Show, and the Merv Griffin Show where he appeared as a guest artist 32 times.

On Broadway he was featured performer in Eubie, Golden Boy, George M! and Evolution of the Blues. Working with directors Francis Ford Coppola, Nick Castle and Richard Brooks he was featured in the movies The Cotton Club, Tap, and I'll Do Anything. He has worked as an actor/singer/dancer in theatres such as the Drury Lane in Chicago and the Sacramento Civic Light Opera. He has worked in nightclubs on every continent from Australia and the Philippines to Europe, England, Japan, South America, and of course the U.S. As a tap dancer and teacher he has been featured at many jazz and tap festivals all over the U.S and Israel.

Born in Chicago on April 24, 1936 Skip's first dance teacher/mentor was the venerable Sadie Bruce. By the age of ten, he had already interacted on stage in some of Chicago's top theatres with the great band leaders Noble Sissle and Walter Dyett. As a child, he won almost every contest he was involved in and this encouraged him to choose show business as a career.

After serving in the United States army, he joined the Billy Williams revue which took him to Las Vegas and the Riviera Hotel and many other famous nightclubs in the U.S. When night clubs were king, Skip honed his craft in the best of them around the world.

He has shared the stage with the likes of Lionel Hampton, Pearl Bailey, Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Merv Griffin, Johnny Carson, Donald O'Connor, Joan Crawford, Regis Philbin, Nat King Cole, Steve Harvey, Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis Jr., Cab Calloway, Bill Cosby, Redd FoxX, Flip Wilson, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Ed Sullivan, Francis Ford Coppola, and many more. He has worked with many famous musicians: Clark Terry, Doc Severensen, Milt Hinton, Ray Brown, James Moody, and many more. Interacting with these famous personalities shaped Skip's career, making him the consummate entertainer that he is.

As a tap master Skip has been awarded the Chicago Human Rhythm Project Juba Award, Rhythm Tap Hall of Fame Master Tapper Award, and the LA Tap Festival Leonard Reed Longevity Award, to name a few.

Skip's long and varied career has made him one of our last great song and dance men.





The Skip Cunningham Tap Experience

The Skip Cunningham Tap ExperienceThe Skip Cunningham Tap Experience
Skip as a child performer





Resources:
More about Skip Cunningham can be found at:



The set of the Movie 'The Cotton Club'
The set of the Movie 'The Cotton Club'

The set of the Movie 'The Cotton Club'The set of the Movie 'The Cotton Club'
L to R: with Gregory Hines; with director Francis Ford Coppola





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


The Skip Cunningham Tap Experience
  • Chloe Arnold
  • Ofer Ben
  • Ayodele Casel
  • Skip Cunningham
  • Melba Huber
  • Ted Levy
  • Avi Miller
  • Logan Miller
  • Yukiko 'Smilie' Misumi
  • Lainie Munro
  • Prof. Robert L. Reed
  • Germaine Salsberg
  • Prof. Hank Smith
  • Dr. Prince Spencer
  • Shea Sullivan






  • Workshop Description:
    The Skip Cunningham Tap Experience,
    an intensive weekend of exciting events, included:

    Tap Course:
    With:
    Skip Cunningham:1930's BS Chorus
      Skip Cunningham taught his version of the historic flash routine named 'BS Chorus'.


    Special Honorary Tap Master Class:
    With:
    Dr. Prince Spencer and Logan Miller
      Dr. Prince Spencer assisted by Logan Miller taught a Special Honorary Master Class in the flashy Four Step Brothers' style.


    Honorary Tap Master Classes:
    With:
    Chloe Arnold, Ofer Ben, Ayodele Casel, Ted Levy, Avi Miller, Yukiko 'Smilie' Misumi, Lainie Munro & Prof. Robert L. Reed
      Eight leading tap artists taught reflections on Skip Cunningham's flashy style through their personal work. Each drew on Cunningham's influence and contribution to his / her own career.


    Tradition In Tap - Award Ceremony:
    With:
    Jason Samuels-Smith
      Jason Samuels-Smith presented Skip Cunningham with the Tradition In Tap Award for: "Outstanding Achievements & Significant Contribution To The Tradition And Art Of Tap Dance".


    Tap History Talks:
    With:
    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 Mr. Cunningham and adding her own personal insight.


    Video Presentation:
    With:
    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 Skip Cunningham and of his work, on film and video.


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


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




    Skip with Harold and Fayard Nicholas - Olympics Arts Festival - Japan America Theatre - LA 1984
    Skip with Harold and Fayard Nicholas
    Olympics Arts Festival - Japan America Theatre - LA 1984

    Skip with Ernestine Anderson and Choley Atkins - Seattle WA 1996
    Skip with Ernestine Anderson and Choley Atkins
    Seattle WA 1996





    Skip with James 'Buster' BrownSkip with Honi Coles
    L to R: Skip with James 'Buster' Brown and with Honi Coles

    Skip with Savion Glover - Anchorage AL 1991
    Skip with Savion Glover - Anchorage AL 1991





    Skip with Cab Callaway - LA 1985
    Skip with Cab Callaway - LA 1985

    Skip with Sammy Davis JR - The Movie TAP - 1989Skip with Sandman Sims - The Movie TAP - 1989
    The Movie TAP - 1989: Left with Sammy Davis JR.; Right with Sandman Sims





    Skip with Sugar Ray Robinson - Olympics Arts Festival - Japan America Theatre - LA 1984Skip with Redd Foxx - Thunderbird Hotel - 1977
    L: Skip with Sugar Ray Robinson - Olympics Arts Festival - Japan America Theatre - LA 1984
    R: Skip with Redd Foxx - Thunderbird Hotel - 1977

    Skip with Ray Charles - The Link Ball - LA 1987
    Skip with Ray Charles - The Link Ball - LA 1987





    Skip with Nancy Wilson - UCLA Schombourg Hall - 2007
    Skip with Nancy Wilson - UCLA Schombourg Hall - 2007





    Skip with Dianne Carroll - Monarch of the Seas Cruise Ship - 1992
    Skip with Dianne Carroll
    Monarch of the Seas Cruise Ship - 1992





    Skip with James Moody - The Red Sea Jazz Festival - Israel 1997
    Skip with James Moody - The Red Sea Jazz Festival - Israel 1997

    Skip with Tap Tel Aviv Dance Troupe - The Red Sea Jazz Festival - Israel 1997
    Skip with Tap Tel Aviv Dance Troupe
    The Red Sea Jazz Festival - Israel 1997

    Skip with Zvia Brumer - The Red Sea Jazz Festival - Israel 1997
    Skip with Zvia Brumer - The Red Sea Jazz Festival - Israel 1997