The Best Tap Dance Numbers Ever Filmed

Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire Tap Dance in the Barkleys of Broadway
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were iconic dance partners well known for their graceful ballroom dancing as top box office names over their productive Hollywood career. Whats even more amazing is that they were also amazingly versatile tap dancers as this clip from the 1949 movie the Barkleys of Broadway illustrates so well.

The Barkleys of Broadway tells the tale of a musical comedy team at the peak of their careers, something which they both experienced together with their own rise to stardom. Many feel that this quality of true life makes this movie one of their greatest films together. Sadly, this was their last movie dancing together. But perhaps we should just be happy that this bit of magic was captured at all – the part was originally supposed to go to Judy Garland!

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The Nicholas Brothers in Stormy Weather
Fayard and Harold Nicholas, better known as the “Nicholas Brothers”, were a phenomenal pair of tap dancers who performed in the legendary “Cotton Club” in Harlem and later went on to teach dancing to superstars such as Michael and Janet Jackson among many others.

This clip is from the wonderful picture “Stormy Weather” filmed in 1943 and features the great Cab Calloway and his Cotton Club Orchestra. The film also featured another tap dance legend Bill “Bojangles” Robinson as well as Fats Waller and Lena Horne.

If you listen closely, you will be amazed at the synchronicity and unison of their tap dancing. This tap dancing number is so famous that Fred Astaire called this performance “the greatest dance number ever filmed” and Mikhail Baryshnikov said, “Those guys are perfect examples of pure genius.”

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