Oxford AASC: Photo Essay

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PHOTO ESSAY

Harlem Renaissance

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John Bubbles, c.1964.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

In 1920, when John Bubbles was only eighteen, he was laughed out of the Hoofers Club. The Hoofers Club, located on 131st Street in Harlem, was the unofficial top tap school in the country at the time and Bubbles did not dance like the other tappers. Unlike other dancers of the time Bubbles concentrated on his foot movements, and today he is credited with changing the face of tap dancing with his rhythm or jazz tap style. Bubbles performed throughout the Harlem Renaissance with his partner Ford Lee "Buck" Washington and became one of the leading dancers at the very club where he was initially ridiculed.

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