Plenty of Good Women Dancers : African American Women Tap Dancers.
During the “golden age” of rhythm tap dance, legendary African American acts thrilled crowds at the Apollo in New York, the Earle in Philadelphia and the Howard Theater in Washington. Tap dance thrived in great urban theaters as well as in tent shows, nightclubs and bars around the country. Tap was so popular – and there were so many great dancers – that people say “dancers were a dime a dozen” in the 1930s and 1940s. This is a comment on the vitality of this vernacular art and on how it has been chronically undervalued.
For every dancer whose name is widely known today – Bill Robinson or Philadelphia’s own Honi Coles or the Nicholas Brothers – there are thousands of others who have faded into obscurity. Very little record remains of the presence and artistry of African American women tap dancers. via Philadelphia Folklore Project.