Each year tap celebrations are held throughout the nation in honor of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’s birthday. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity celebrate right here in Winona! Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA), beginning through advanced tappers will be highlighted in this free performance in the Figliulo Recital Hall on the Saint Mary’s University Campus. The performance is Sunday, May 21st at 7:00 p.m.

MCA’s Winona celebration is just one that happens throughout the nation during the month of May, celebrating Bill “Bojangles” Robison who was an American tap dancer who was one of the first African American performers to go solo and to over come many racial barriers in the early 20th century. Bojangles is best remembered today for his dancing with Shirley Temple during a series of the films during the 1930’s and for starring in Stormy Weather which is loosely based on his life. The showcase will highlight the talents of students who range in age from 6 to adult and range in ability from beginning- advanced. They will be performing rhythm tap pieces they learned in workshops this month and a revival of the tap piece from the spring Dance Repertory Company Concert. The evening will also include a special tap history presentation featuring the “Shim Sham Shimmy,” a dance known as the national anthem of tap. The showcase is open to the public, and free-will donations will be accepted.

Students performing in the Winona showcase will include: Ava Amann, Lilia Civettini, Coco Costello, Elias Fernandez Greene, Deja Foster, Nathan Graff, Viva Graff, Katherine Griggs, Mattie Kreisel, Kylee Indahl, Rachel Lepper, Justine Meinke, Isaac Meinke, Preston Meinke, Samuel O’Grady, Amy Remoticado, Lillianna Richardson, and Lucy Wilfahrt. The showcase is choreographed by MCA tap instructors Jessica Dienger & Christine Martin.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University, a nonprofit organization offers programming in dance, music, visual art, and theatre. Classes, lessons, workshops and camps are offered for ages 18mo. To adult at the Valencia Arts Center, corner of 10th and Vila Streets, Winona. For more information about MCA’s National Tap Dance Day Showcase or other arts programming, visit MCA online, email MCA@smumn.edu, or call (507) 453-5500.