This Tap Dancing Tiktoker is Absolutely Killing it in Chicago
Raise your hand if you were forced to take dance lessons as a kid?
I was. And, honestly, tap dancing quickly became my FAVORITE. Ultimately, finances didn't allow me to continue when I was a child but, I remember it being a blast. These days, however, it seems to be a lost art form. Or, so I thought.
In Chicago, there's a tap dancer who is growing in popularity on Tiktok thanks to her tap dancing skills. Starinah "Star" Dixon, or @starinahdixon on the app, has a variety of different videos but, one of her most popular is this one showing her dancing near downtown Chicago:
Surprised? I suppose you wouldn't be alone. In that video, she directly addresses how there seems to be a lack of Black people represented in the tap dancing world.
Let's Talk History and Stereotypes
As with many things in our country's history, there was a point in time when tap dancing was used to demean people of color. Specifically, African Americans. The dance would be used in minstrel shows with white people sporting full blackface playing "ridiculous" characters.
Today, a commonly believed stereotype may be that people of color just don't tap dance. However, tap dancing originated in the African American community. According to an article from the University of Michigan,
Tap dance originated in the United States in the early 19th century at the crossroads of African and Irish American dance forms. When slave owners took away traditional African percussion instruments, slaves turned to percussive dancing to express themselves and retain their cultural identities. These styles of dance connected with clog dancing from the British Isles, creating a unique form of movement and rhythm.
A fact that Star highlights in another Tiktok:
Now, Starinah's skills are getting recognized by major companies and celebrities alike. On her Instagram, she shared a quick behind-the-scenes shot from an AT&T event that she was hired to be a dancer for. Ultimately, she didn't end up dancing. But, she did meet Keke Palmer:
Maybe, it's not such a lost art form after all. Especially since there's a dance school in Chicago, that Starinah is a part of, focusing on producing incredible tap dancers. That school is M.A.D.D Rhythms:
We love to see it.
So, if you see this, thank you, Starinah, for bringing back this childhood memory for me and for showing me that tap dance is still going strong! At least, in Chicago.
Speaking of Chicago, for being known as the "windy city" it seems rather odd that someone would choose a highrise rooftop as a place to build a home. But, here we are: