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.".
Casual cool for Thanksgiving
Shop Lafayette goes strong
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
A divided 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a Lafayette district judge’s ruling absolving the co-owner of a New Iberia accounting firm of liability in an embezzlement case.
Our View: It’s reasonable, temporary and invests in Lafayette’s future.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
Three bedroom in Port Barre or two bedroom in Opelousas
US cities bidding on Olympics; Guard prevents more Ferguson riots; storm threatens travel and more national and international news for Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
“I am only getting a little nervous about two projects — the proposed Sasol GTL facility [not the new ethylene plant] and the proposed G2X facility — both in Lake Charles. They need a hefty difference between oil and natural gas prices to make sense.”
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Lower oil prices also might slow the growth of oil production in parts of the U.S., Canada and elsewhere because it will no longer be so profitable.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
A Lafayette woman faces up to 20 years in prison for running up more than $1 million in unauthorized charges to her company credit card.
Signs that our state’s banking industry is undergoing a downsizing in 2014 were further confirmed today with the FDIC’s latest figures showing a third straight quarter in which Louisiana lost more banks and earned less money.
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State police say a 47-year-old Lafayette man, who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits, is accused of operating two businesses out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
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