For the Love of Dance…


The Nicholas Brothers – “Jumpin’ Jive”

The clip below is, for my money, one of the very best dance numbers in the history of dance on film, an astonishing, flawless and inspiring dance performace from the Nicholas Brothers. The wonderful Cab Calloway shows his singing chops, and delivers the ultimate band-leader swagger for which he was renowned, while his band aces the musical number. Not forgetting the outstanding camera work, this is really a wonderful and uplifting tour de force from 1941.

Minus the splits what you see below was my Dad’s style of dance as a performing artist back in the 1950’s. When Dad watched the Nicholas Brothers perform in the UK in the 1950’s they could still do everything you see them do in this dance number from the 1941 movie “Stormy Weather.” Changing styles often make performers look older in footage from decades past. So, just to give you your bearings, in this performance Harold was 20 and Fayard was 27. A classic moment in dance and cinematic history. Enjoy…

Below, the young Nicholas brothers, performing  in 1936 when Harold was 15 and Fayard was 22. I really love their confidence, attitude and screen savvy in this clip. They know they’re good!

And once again The Nicholas Brothers, this time in 1940, when Harold was 19 and Fayard was 26

I love the beautiful vibe to the piece below. Its warm and sophisticated R&B tone was the collaboration of Usher, Jermaine Dupree and Manuel Seal. The dance is all Usher and shows how assured and seamless a style he had already developed by the age of 19 when this song and video were released.

I just love the beauty and joy of this crowd of great dancers. I like MJ’s adaptation of Paul Anka’s song too. I challenge you to watch this without beaming a smile back to the diverse troupe as they celebrate both the song and the iconic moves of Michael Jackson.

I am not a ballet buff, but the speed, agility, strength and control of this dance, and these dancers, is inspiring. Amar Ramasar, Ask La Cour, and Chase Finlay, Bravo!! I love the choreography by David Fernandez, too. I like that it is more masculine than I find a lot of ballet to be. And the string ensemble is absolutely on point too. Just wonderful.

I love the way Brian Friedman’s choreography so perfectly channels the ooze and the mood of the music in his interpretation of Feel it Still. There’s a lot of fun and joy in watching a whole sequence of dancers play with this one. A glimpse of Sean and Casey in this number. Am a fan. Sean and Casey’s great attitude always makes us will a wonderful performance out of the pair. Enjoy!

This is how people danced in the year I was born. I love it!

This performance is so creative  and accomplished. Fred Astaire at the top of his game. Show this to anyone of any generation and share a joy and sense of fun that is timeless.

Lots of really good young dancers, performing Brian Friedman’s choreography here. My kids love performing this one too. Shout out to Sean and Kaycee who kick us off. Love the apparent pause in Sean’s jump.

Toni Basil is a genius and a force of nature. Her choreography is renowned. What I love here is to see how a 74 year old can move. Toni lifts our expectations and encourages us all to keep moving! Love the fun and the spirit of Toni’s limber moves here!

Jessica Mauboy, showing how to sing, dance and entertain a friendly but potentially intimidating crowd. I think she nails it. You can feel the feeling in the room!

Bobby Banas showing his own stuff before becoming choreographer to the stars…

Bobby is an impressive choreographer with an amazing and long track-record of students – including John Travolta, Cher and Bruce Lee. I love what Bobby did here – both in the choreography, which he worked out with not much more than a day’s notice, and in his energy and commitment in leading the troupe. To me he looks and moves like a teenager. In fact he was 30 when this was recorded! For me it is the 150% commitment of Bobby’s delivery that really sells these moves and makes it impossible to watch without feeling pepped up. Bravo Bobby! Inspiring on every count!

James Brown acing these moves…

And below one that’s in my roots through my paternal Grandfather , who was an in-house pianist at the Shim Sham Jazz Club in London in the 20’s and 30’s. Before cutting edge music found its way onto the radio, Shim Sham’s was the place in the UK where the elite hip crowds gathered from all over Europe to hear the new sounds of Jazz back in the Roaring 20s and early 30’s…


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