Tap Class Personalities

Day 19 of black history month, I’m sharing this wonderful James Van Der Zee photo of a tap dance class in Harlem in 1928. I don’t know whether any of these little girls grew up to be famous dancers, but I’d pick them over Degas’ ballerinas any day of the week (meaning no disrespect to Degas). Such distinct yet marvelously universal personalities captured in a single frame. Absent knowing the true details of their lives (please tell me if you do know), I hope somebody will write a middle-grade adventure story inspired by them. I want so many wonderful things for the children in this picture, and don’t know whether they ever got them.

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