Nicholas Brothers

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Fayard Antonio Nicholas (1914-2006) and Harold Lloyd Nicholas (1921-2000) are the tap-dancing duo with highly acrobatic technique, high level of artistry and daring innovations. They developed a type of dance that mixed tap dance with jazz, ballet and acrobatics. Born from musicians’ parent, the Nicholas Brothers traveled from city to another city where they met great dancers at that time. They became the featured act at a club in 1932 in Philadelphia, when Harold was 11 and Fayard was 18. They were the only entertainers in the African American cast allowed to mingle with white people.

A signature move was to leapfrog down a long, broad flight of stairs, while completing each step with a split. Another signature move was to arise from a split without using the hands. The Nicholas Brothers taught master classes in tap dance as teachers-in-residence at Harvard University and Radcliffe as Ruth Page Visiting Artists. Among their known students are Debbie Allen, Janet Jackson, and Michael Jackson. The brothers received uncountable praises and awards included Honorary doctorate from Harvard University, Ellie Award, Ebony Lifetime Achievement Award, Scripps American Dance Festival Award, Kennedy Center Honors, The National Black Media Coalition Lifetime Achievement Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Harold and Fayard also received several individual awards for their dedication.

 


We Sing and We Dance- The Nicholas Brothers