Is this propogating a stereotype?

My son attends a really wonderful after school program which offers many activities run by specialists in their areas. One of the activities is dance and he’ll be start a tap workshop next week. He’s excited, I’m excited. I only wish his old tap shoes still fit since we had to shell out 20 bucks for new ones. The only thing that has me scratching my head is, the dance teacher is running the workshop in recognition of Black History Month . I always thought the idea of tap dancing black people was a bit of a stereotype. I’m thinking Bojangles. On the other hand, I know I wouldn’t be thinking this way if he had a Blues Guitar workshop in honor of Black History Month (dude, how much would my son love that !) . I wonder why that is? Is it because old blues men are so much cooler than Bojangles. There are cool tap dancers like Sammy Davis Jr. and Gregory Hines and that guy who brings in da funk and da noise.

So, tell me, am I thinking too much on this one? I certainly have no plans to say anything to the director or anything.
Savion Glover ! That’s who brings in da funk and da noise!

i think it would be more like perpetuating a stereotype (well, i guess it would be propagating as well), but no, i don’t see it as that. you might be overthinking things. i mean, if everyone spent all their time trying to avoid falling into some stereotype no one would get anything done.

tap dancing has been an art form that black americans have really enriched over the years. yeah, i don’t see any difference between it and maybe a blues guitar class, or a class on the harlem renaissance, or anything else that happens to focus on black history.

i guess tap dancing does have some negative connotations, but it would ba a shame to condemn it because of how is was coopted by film directors in the past.

Perpetuating! RATS! :smack:

I can kind of see your concern, because it is a bit of a stereotype, but the fact is that black people really MADE tap-dancing, you know? There are white tapdancers who are good, but it’s an art form that was really refined by some amazing black dancers - you forgot the Nicholas Brothers, btw.

So it’s not a negative stereotype any more than recognizing the influence of black artists over white artists in blues, jazz, rap and gospel would be.

I think you’re overthinking it as well. Tap did indeed start out and only thrived (throve?) because of the efforts of some fantastic African-Americans. It seems like Black History Month is the perfect time to recognize that.

Think of it this way: should Irish tap classes not hold recitals in the month of March, because that would perpetuate stereotypes about St. Patrick’s Day, lepruchauns and the Irish-American as a second class citizen? Should they not wear their “Irish” costumes or tell stories about Ireland, its music and its influence on the world of dancing? Bah. It’s part of the history. It’s part of the art. Thank goodness that nowadays little white boys can study Harlem tap and little black boys can study Irish tap, but not being honest about where the art forms came from is sorta silly.

That is about all that matters. It would be a sad world where a Black person feels weird about taking tap, Japanese guy feels weird about taking karate or an Irish guy feels weird about having a beer at a pub.

Also the type of guy who would get a racial chuckle out of it, is going to think something bad no matter what your son does.

“A black guy in ballet? Guess the shuckin’ & jivin’ class was full”