Splash Biography

SAM HEIMOWITZ, Professional tap dancer studying Chinese

Major: Not available.

College/Employer: Yale

Year of Graduation: 2023

Picture of Sam Heimowitz

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I have been tap dancing for 14 years, 13 of which have been with my identical twin brother Max. I was a member of a youth tap ensemble for 9 years, as both a founding member and dance captain, called Capitol Tap. I've attended numerous tap dance festivals and residency programs up and down the east coast, have a breadth of historical knowledge on the art form, and have 4 years of teaching experience, two of which I was on faculty at my home studio, teaching from age 4-84! You can catch more at heimowitzbrothers.com or catch a glimpse of my shiny gold and yellow tap shoes around campus :)

At Yale, I am a member of Taps, Steppin' Out, and I volunteer for CityStep. I am currently planning on studying East Asian Languages and Literature with a track in Chinese, and I sometimes dabble in Russian literature and various other obscure fields! I like to pay attention to little, minute details, noticing the things that are commonly overlooked, and I love teaching and sharing my knowledge of American percussive dance with others. I am also a proud member of Branford College #BFA!

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

A3956: American Tap Dance, 1600s-2019 in Splash Fall 2019 (Nov. 16, 2019)
Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers. Singin' in the Rain, and Anchors Aweigh. What do all of these have in common? Tap Dance! Many consider (rather incorrectly) that tap dance is a dying art form, and one that only appeared on stage and in film in the early 1900s. But did you know that tap has an over 400 year history that began when enslaved Africans were brought over to America? Or that it has influences from the Americas, Europe, and Africa? Or that aside from jazz, it's the sole truly American art form? In this class, we will trace the origins of tap dance through an African and African American perspective, watching clips of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (aka the "Mayor of Harlem"), John Bubbles, the Nicholas Brothers, Honi Coles, Buster Brown, Chuck Green, and Gregory Hines. We'll "tap" into the resurgence of tap that began in the 1980s, looking at the American Tap Dance Orchestra, Brenda Bufalino, Dianne Walker, Sam Weber, and Savion Glover. We'll take a detour to Broadway to see Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk, we'll look at the first ever youth tap ensembles, see how South African gumboot, American step traditions, and West African drumming mesh with tap's percussive elements, and catch a glimpse of the most cutting-edge tap that's out there (honing in on Dorrance Dance and the Syncopated Ladies). You will emerge as a walking, talking percussive instrument (what, you thought we wouldn't teach you a step?!) and with a better understanding of American arts and culture. Come shuffle with us! Guaranteed to leave with some radical, rhythmical skills.