Gregory Hines

Gregory Hines - Tap Dance Pioneer: Understand the Influence of a Significant Tap Practitioner

Tap, as a dance form, has been around for many generations and centuries and through different points in history, has undergone changes due to the many practitioners that have made their metaphorical `stamp' on the celebrated style. Within this essay, after outlining the creation and development of Tap and contextualising its history and relevance, I will analyse the work and influence of Gregory Hines who is a major American tap practitioner, drawing from the history of Tap to focus on his specific style and where he garners his influences. I will also expand on his work and how it has affected ...

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born. After combining with the newly imported Irish Step-Dancing and Clog and Reel; the "Buck and Wing" style was adapted and became the first known American Tap form performed to syncopated rhythms. It was William Henry Lane, in 1845, who first performed the "Buck and Wing" on stage, and was most famous for his unique rhythmic style that was inspired by his African Roots.

As Tap evolved through to the 20[th] century and became a more unified dance form, "Buck and Wing" died out, leaving a rhythmic and noisy dance era consisting of, for example, the Charleston, Soft Shoe and even introduced acrobatic tricks in these tap sequences. Through the rise of Vaudevillian theatre, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson became one of the most inspiring practitioners to this day due to his work focusing on his emphasis of clean phrases and toe taps, strung together using explosively busy and inventive footwork seen in soft shoe and shuffle sequences. The style of Bill Robinson and that of another ...

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century, Tap remained at the borderlines and then continued to grow into the 21[st] century. This is due to the likes of such dancers as Sammy Davis Jr. (1933), Shirley Temple (1932), Steve Condos (1944), and the pioneer and inspiration of modern tap: Gregory Hines, starting his major career in 1963. Tap began changing into the modern era. This meant improvisation was a major quality in dancing and was being performed in all styles of dancing. Hines' was influenced than none other but his idol, Sammy Davis Jr.. At Sammy's funeral, Hines spoke of the honor that Sammy thought that Hines could carry on from where he left off, and this is where his tap creations began.

Gregory Hines was a ...

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Gregory Hines. (2014, February 6). Retrieved January 19, 2019, from
"Gregory Hines.", 6 Feb. 2014. Web. 19 Jan. 2019. <>
"Gregory Hines." February 6, 2014. Accessed January 19, 2019.
"Gregory Hines." February 6, 2014. Accessed January 19, 2019.
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Added: 2/6/2014 03:21:10 PM
Submitted By: elliemai
Category: Film & Theater
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2740
Pages: 10

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