Michelle Dorrance Brings Tap to "Late Night"

October 14, 2015

Check out our cover story on Dorrance from 2008.


Two weeks ago, tap innovator Michelle Dorrance was named a MacArthur Genius. Last week, she premiered her mind-blowing Fall for Dance commission, Myelination, at New York City Center. And last night, she taught “Late Night” host Stephen Colbert how to tap dance. Is there anything she can’t do?

As Colbert’s guest, she taught him to do a half break, which is part of the Shim Sham, a classic tap step from the ‘20s. It’s a surprisingly involved step, (I was expecting that a shuffle ball change would be the extent of Colbert’s lesson), and he nailed it:


And of course, Dorrance jammed with Jon Baptiste & Stay Human, Colbert’s house band:

The crowd went wild for Dorrance’s intricate rhythms and quirky embellishments. Let’s hope her fan base continues to grow into the mainstream—she’s a force. Read her “Why I Dance” from last April here, and watch the entire episode here. Dorrance comes on around the 35 minute mark.

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