THE HOOFER AWARD

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LaVaughn Robinson
2004 Hoofer Award Recipient

LaVaughn Robinson was first introduced to tap dancing in his mother’s kitchen in South Philadelphia. He received his basic training on the street corners of South Street, and by the time he was in his teens, he was supporting himself and contributing to the household income by buskin’ throughout downtown Philadelphia. Robinson learned his first “paddle” – the step that is the basis of his distinctive style – while home on a furlough from the Army. For more than a half century, Robinson has taught and performed rhythm tap on almost every continent. Over the years, he has shared marquees or been a featured artist with Maynard Ferguson, Billie Holiday, Ruth Brown, the Tommy Dorsey Band, Wayne Newton, Keith Terry, Gregory Hines, Peg Leg Bates, Honi Coles, Cholly Atkins, Savion Glover, Bakaari Wilder, The Fiddle Puppets, Jazz Tap Ensemble, Brenda Bufalino, the American Tap Dance Orchestra, and the Nicholas Brothers. He has received many awards, grants, and fellowships from local, state, and national arts organizations. Since 1980, he has served on the faculty of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and at age 74, he maintains a regular schedule of classes, workshops, and performances.

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