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.".
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.