Happy Birthday Chloe Arnold
First off I would like to make the necessary apologies for this video. Friday I had a final and therefore this whole shoot was one manned and rushed which is usually how I like my shoots but this time it screw up a bit more things than I usually like. Less raw, out the box more middle school art project. But now that that’s been said:
Between 15 and 16 years ago my mom brought home a VHS (shit I’m getting old) of Gregory Hines’s Tap and after watching it I vowed to become young Savion Glover doing back flips and rhythmic solos for a class full of pretty girls. So I went down to Takoma’s own Knock on Wood Tap Studio (KOW) where I abruptly signed up for beginner tap classes in hope of becoming the next tap marvel. At the end of that year my five-year-old beginner class opened up for Tappers with Attitude (TWA), KOW’s resident dance company at the Kennedy Center Honors for Shirley Temple, Bill Cosby, Bill Clinton, and some others. Just between you and me, I don’t remember anything about the show. There’s some blurry, staticky video shot by someone’s 90s era camcorder somewhere but I haven’t seen it in nearly a decade.
[Censored: My mother has pointed out I’m kinda an asshole so… I’ve removed the “mean” part of this blog]
Then 2009 came about and Maud and Chloe Arnold started the DC Tap Fest. I wasn’t thinking about going because by this point I still really hated tap dance but earlier that year I had won the scholarship associated with TWA and DC Tap Fest was free so it seemed silly not to go. Friday night was the opening jam where students and teachers got up and shared with the crowd. And after two and a half hours at the gym, that was fucking it. I was hooked. I’ve fallen in love two other times in my life since then, but that was the first time, and it’s true what they say, you never forget your first. Chloe and Maud Arnold and DC Tap Fest are pretty much single handedly responsible for my love of tap dance and besides Baakari Wilder and Junious Brickhouse are the people most responsible for making me the dancer and artist I am today. So it seemed only appropriate on today that I honor the birthday of the woman who gave me back, or maybe gave me for the first time my love of tap dance.