TORONTO: Celebrating Our Men In Dance Showcase Presentation… Only SOME PEOPLE Allowed

Shawn Byfield featured choreographer in Celebrating Our Men In Dance Showcase Presentation 2014

Shawn Byfield featured choreographer in Celebrating Our Men In Dance Showcase Presentation 2014

Sheesh! Some People…

Ok. I really shouldn’t have to convince anyone why you should support Toronto Theatre! But I realize more and more that people (not you, just “people”) tend to get lazy or indifferent when it comes to supporting the arts and culture.

Yet, those same people will sit home and watch TV all night. Not realizing that if it weren’t for live theatre, many of those actors, dancers and other artists wouldn’t have the opportunity to BE on television- if they weren’t supported in their local theatre community first.

For instance…
*cue black gurrl with head bobble*

Would you even know who Gene Kelly was? Read my “Impatient, Entitled, Wanna-Be Choreographers, Actors, etc” post.

So to convince you (I mean, people) that this is important, worthy stuff, here’s my…

Top 5 Awesome Reasons To Support Celebrating Our Men In Dance Showcase Presentation

  1. Support Black History Month. Because clearly, we still make a tremendous contribution to our city, country and our planet.
  2. Support Canada’s favourite black male dance choreographers, including Shawn Byfield. Who is more than awesome.
  3. A perfect chance to have a fun, extremely affordable and inspiring night out with friends or family that doesn’t break your bank account.
  4. Watch, learn about and appreciate many different styles of dance, from tap dance, to contemporary, to hip hop.
  5. Stop watching bullshit reality television, when you have more inspiring, positive and REAL messages right here in your own backyard.
  6. BONUS: Strong, dark, sexy black men. ’nuff said.

Runs Thursday February 6th to Saturday February 8th 2014, at Enwave Theatre, Harbourfront Centre in Toronto

Get Tickets Here

Celebrating Our Men In Dance Showcase Presentation features work from Canada’s finest male choreographers. I’m honoured to be one of the nine featured. I will be TAP DANCING in this show, and I’ve put together an energetic piece that will be different in parts each night!

Visit www.danceImmersion.ca to learn more about their mandate, and why I’m a part of this terrific Toronto dance showcase.

@ShawnByfield

Tapdancing Television: Shawn Byfield On CP24 Toronto

In case you missed it… your favourite, most awesomely fun dance expert 😉 was interviewed and taught the hosts Jee and Gurdeep tap dance moves for National Tap Dance Day 2013. An entertaining few segments, we woke up Toronto with some fun! | Watch on CP24

Here’s a few photos from National Tap Dance Day at the Toronto news station.

National tap dance day with Shawn Byfield

National tap dance day with Shawn Byfield

National tap dance day with Shawn Byfield

National tap dance day with Shawn Byfield

 

BEAT BATTLE: Tap Dance vs Beatbox… Who Won?

Shawn Byfield dance vs Sean Mauricette beatbox

Shawn Byfield dance vs Sean Mauricette beatbox

Toronto entertainer, actor and beatboxer a.k.a. SUBLIMINAL battles Toronto’s king of Tap Shawn Byfield

This is footage from a few years ago, on television show Toronto Dances. Half the TV program featured yours truly. I’m collaborating with the amazing Sean “aka Subliminal” Mauricette. A fun shoot, and the entire show manifested a Gemini Award nomination for me as well!

Watch the video

National Tap Dance Day: A Message From Bojangles

GUESS WHAT!?

Today is National Tap Dance Day! If you didn’t know, every May 25th tap dancers around the world celebrate the art form of tap dance. This day marks the birthday of famous black tap dance legend Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

Another name for tap dancers is “hoofers.” We have metal under our feet, and make rhythms with our shoes. Just like a horse does with their hoof.

Speaking of Bojangles: he wrote you something special! Yes he did:

Read this wild & crazy message from Bill Robinson

National Tap Dance Day message from Bojangles

National Tap Dance Day message from Bojangles

There you’ll find a VERY special, VIP membership for 25 days of TAP DANCE at a jaw-dropping rate, to one of the top-ranked studios in Toronto. Guess where? 😉

You’ve never seen anything like this.

This is PERFECT if you haven’t tap danced in a while and need to get your butt back to class (not for newbies who never tap danced before.) Especially good for:

*- College students who just finished exams & need to tap
*- University students who dance & are back in Toronto
*- Theatre & industry professionals who need to maintain tap skills
*- Tap dance teachers, studio owners & your assistants
*- Lovers of challenging, inspiring tap classes
*- Overworked office people who need instant stress relief

It also makes an excellent, thoughtful gift for someone who used to tap and keeps saying

“OMG I need to tap dance!” And you say:
“OMG well why don’t you?” to which they reply
“Well I don’t know, where do I go?”

That’s when you respond with

“Here tap lover, take this and go dance your brains out.”
“OMG really? I love you!”
“Nope, I love you more!”

…You then passionately embrace like a classic MGM movie scene, right before the train leaves the station. [cue violins] Take a gander at what Bojangles wrote for you (his grammar isn’t that good, so read slowly…)

Read Bojangles’ wild and crazy message for you here

Happy National Tap Dance Day,

– Shawn B
@ShawnByfield

 

Who Could Say No To The Nicholas Brothers? (And Why You Should NEVER Put This Kind Of Fire Out)

The Nicholas Brothers tap dance duo

The Nicholas Brothers tap dance duo

Who could say no to The Nicholas Brothers? Fayard and Harold are firecrackers. I mean, they LITERALLY explode off the screen, inextinguishable in every performance.

I was just thinking of how as Black performers, because of racial inequality, our ancestors didn’t have many opportunities to perform on stage or film 60, 70, 80 years ago… Can you imagine a film director, producer or theatre director saying “Sorry boys, there’s no need for you in this show” to THESE guys? Regardless of colour?

If they did, we wouldn’t have this:

C’mon, tell me that’s not a fire! And they were rejected many times. Could you imagine if they cut this from the movie? The two Black boys who could out perform ANYBODY?

Anyway, this post isn’t about race or colour. Not today.

It’s about loving the world tap dance has opened up for me. My life completely transformed, because of a fellow hoofer Gregory Hines. If I didn’t see him explode on TV when I was six, I might not be in entertainment at all. I might not have learned to tap dance or develop a love for performing…

…Which lead me to teach thousands of students, travel internationally, perform and choreograph for stage,  film and television, and own a remarkable dance studio in downtown Toronto.

It’s amazing what those Nicholas Brothers did for thousands of people worldwide. They most likely had a huge impact on Gregory, which inspired him to do his tap dance, which inspired me to do MY thang…

Tell me that’s not inspiring!

I’m sure you’ll agree: Sometimes it only takes one spark to completely light up the path in your life. And that spark can ignite a wildfire of creativity and influence. We need MORE fires like this in our daily lives!

Who’s YOUR spark? Eleanor Powell? Gene Kelly? Your Aunt & Uncle? Buster Brown?

And are you interested in learning to tap dance? Because as you know, that’s what we do every day at Byfield Dance Experience. We give you the tools to develop your passion for dance. But watch out! Tap dance is addictive. =) When you start from scratch, you actually have unlimited potential.

So. Do me a favour and leave a comment below. Tell me today about YOUR spark and if you’re interested in learning beginner tap dance. We’ll have another 8 week session starting April 22nd if enough peeps want it. Word?

– @ShawnByfield