Legendary Dancer Series

Gregory Hines

“I’m going to tap until I can’t: I’ll be so old, all I can do is walk out from the wings to stage center. But I’ll be there.”

Gregory Hines

Gregory Hines, perhaps one the most legendary tap dancers of all time, made himself an icon in the dancing world. His unique and rhythmic style pushed him into a career on Broadway where he belonged.

Hines was born in the Harlem neighborhood in New York City on February 14, 1946. Both of his parents were actors, dancers, and musicians which lead to Hines being involved in the performing arts at a young age. He was tap dancing when he was only two years old and working as a dancer by the time he was five. Soon he was able to work with choreographer Henry LaTang who helped shape his style.

As Hines became older he soon began to work with other performers who taught him about dancing. In 1973 Hines took his talents to Broadway where he began a successful career. His style was unique because of how he was an improviser. He would create rhythms on the stop just like a drummer on a solo.

In 1981 Hines would make his first film debut in History of the World, Part 1. After this Hines would go on to star in many other films establishing himself in Hollywood. Hines would eventually venture into television as well. Some films and TV Hines would be in were

The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)

Tap (1989)

Good Luck (1996)

The Preacher’s Wife (1996)

Blues Clues (1999)

Bojangles (2001)

Little Bill (1999-2004)

With all of his success came many awards as well. In his career Hines won

1992 Tony Award for Best Actor in Musical in Jelly’s Last Jam

2003 Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program in Little Bill

What makes Gregory Hines a legendary dancer inspires us to challenge ourselves in dance. At INSPIRE, we teach classes on tap dance in case watching Hines made you want to start tapping to your own rhythm.

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