Tap was Mann's favorite dance form because of its energy and movement. "I just liked everything about it," she notes. "My feet are always going to tap. I just feel myself being up there."
She remembers taking lessons and dancing with Dwight Andrus Jr. ' yes, the real estate developer ' who's a local tap legend among dance enthusiasts. "I did tap a lot," says Andrus. "That's a fact."
Andrus' granddaughter, Ashley Andrus, remembers her grandfather teaching his 14 grandchildren how to tap dance when they were young. "He actually had one of the rooms (in his house) redone with a wooden dance floor and mirrors on the wall," she says. Andrus began dancing at the age of 3, when his mother put him in dance lessons with aspirations of seeing her son on Broadway. (He did get an offer to study in New York at the age of 13 but turned it down to stay in Lafayette.) Andrus also taught at Gertrude Leblanc's dance school and often performed at the Heymann Center and in outlying areas before going to college.
Tap City founder, producer and director Tony Waag is excited about his first visit to Lafayette ' and collaborating with local musicians, including zydeco band Lil' Nathan & the Zydeco Big-Timers. "I think everybody's totally open to that," he says. "If there's music, there's dancing. They'll probably just play and ask us to jam. We really consider ourselves musicians anyway ' we just play our feet." (For a complete list of Tap City events, see p. 24.)
In its fifth year, the annual summer Tap Festival brings together hundreds of tap dancers from around the world. This summer marks the event's first national tour, which includes nine of the best dancers from the past five festivals, along with three musicians on piano, drums and bass. It also represents three generations of tap dancing; Waag studied under tap dance trailblazer Brenda Bufalino, who will be dancing in the show.
"It is sort of a best-of and represents different facets of the festival pulled into one show," Waag says. "The biggest thing is that we represent a variety of styles, types of music and eras." From early Singin' in the Rain-inspired moves to bebop tap, softshoe, funk, Broadway, and Brazilian and German variations, Tap City clicks in a whole spectrum of styles. "It's exactly like music," Waag says. "It's an ongoing formation of things.".
September's $509 million in sales pushed Lafayette Parish's nine-month total to $4.4 billion.
The Louisiana Supreme Court has punted on its first chance to decide whether a new state constitutional provision declaring gun possession a fundamental right could void a long list of criminal statutes that regulate firearms.
New Orleans' offense, which ranks sixth in the NFL, isn't helping many of its skill players pile up Pro Bowl-type stats. Rather, the approach of coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees has enabled a wide range of play-makers to emerge periodically with high-production outings.
An ordinance phasing out a rebate businesses receive for collecting and remitting sales taxes is tabled, but it doesn’t solve the vexing issue of government revenue.
From jewelry to home goods, deals abound
Forgiving shapes for NOLA Bowl
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, December 12, 2013:
As part of a national undertaking known by industry insiders as the “Butterfly Project,” a rebranded version of The Daily Advertiser is set to launch with Sunday’s edition of the Gannett-owned paper.
Louisiana moved up a slot to 48th in the ranking of healthy states — once again, thank God for Mississippi! — so all this frettin’ about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s refusal to expand Medicaid per Obamacare ... fuggidaboutit! We don’t need Medicaid no more!
The Denham Springs woman who placed Christmas lights in the shape of a butter finger on her roof in a display of anger directed at neighbors has doubled the trouble for the 2013 holiday season.
The New Orleans architect behind the 1984 World’s Fair also left his mark on Lafayette.
Laid back vibe just right for NOLA Bowl
The 30-second commercial, to run around the state, is the Democratic senator's first TV spot in her bid for re-election to a fourth term.
It's a number that has edged up but falls far short of the thousands who are eligible for subsidized coverage.
A group of mostly higher education leaders will make recommendations to state lawmakers about how to tweak the policies governing tuition rates charged at the state's public colleges.
Week long specials and a ribbon cutting celebration held in Parc Lafayette
Fort Worth company's new facility at Lafayette Regional Airport will build helicopters primarily for the export market.
Could River Ranch restaurant be the next star?
Move over Hooters — there’s a new breastaurant coming to town.
Hashtag, retweet, like, share and do whatever else it takes to get in good today with the jolly man in red.