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ARTHUR DUNCAN

AMERICA'S GREATEST LIVING TAP DANCE TREASURE.

 

Congratulations Dr. Arthur Duncan

 

On May 10th the esteemed Oklahoma City University presented Arthur Duncan with an Honorary Doctor of Performing Arts in American Dance.  We fan club members were at the Commencement with members of the Duncan family as Arthur received two thunderous standing ovations and he never danced a step or sang a song. 

 

“I feel a little like a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs,” he said to break the ice and the auditorium of over 1500 erupted in joyous laughter.   He went on to graciously and eloquently speak from his heart as he accepted his prestigious award and the place just melted under that warm Duncan charm that we all know so well.

 

"It is Oklahoma City University's pleasure to honor one of the legendary masters of tap dance and entertainment for his commitment to this American Art form," said John Bedford, dean of OCU's Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management.

 

"At a time when tap dance was fading from Broadway and Hollywood Duncan's charm and talent captivated audiences on the Lawrence Welk Show” wrote the Oklahoman Newspaper.

 

They also noted Arthur's work at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Las Vegas, Broadway in "My One and Only",  European Tours and work with Jerry Lewis, Sammy Lewis Jr.,Bob Hope and of course Lawrence Welk.

 

The University prepared a beautiful video presentation on big screens of Arthur with Lawrence and Dick Van Dyke, and Gregory Hines in the Movie Tap.

 

Arthur said that he is very touched by the support he feels from the Welk Community and he feels he really shares much of this prestigious honor with his Welk Family.

 

Dr. Arthur Duncan is off to yet another series of projects and his schedule is busier than ever.

He thanks you all for your support.

ARTHUR DUNCAN TO RECEIVE GREGORY HINES HUMANITARIAN AWARD
Tap-Dancing Legend Honored For His Work with Inner City Kids’ Non-Profit Dance Program

Van Nuys, CA (May, 2008) – Arthur Duncan, referred to by Lawrence Welk as “the man who has kept tap dancing alive,” will be honored this month by the Gabriella Axelrad Education Foundation with the Gregory Hines Humanitarian Award. The award will be presented at the Foundation’s “8th Annual Event” held on May 31 at 8 p.m. at UCLA’s Northwest Campus Auditorium.

Duncan, 74, is being honored for his decades as the industry’s quintessential song and dance man — “the King of Tap” Lawrence Welk called him —  and for breaking racial barriers as the first African-American regular on a variety television program, “The Lawrence Welk Show,” where he  was a featured performer from 1964 to 1982.

Gabriella Axelrad Education Foundation (www.gabriellaaxelradfoundation.org) is an inner-city non-profit that has for years provided free, quality dance training to thousands of underserved Los Angeles children through its program, everybody dance!.  Its students have gone on to prestigious schools (Juilliard) and to win prestigious awards in the dance field (Music Center “Spotlight Award,” among others).

Gregory Hines was a revered member of the Foundation’s Board. The award was established posthumously in his name. Past recipients of the award have included actor Dule Hill (“Psych,” “West Wing”) and famed tapper Jason Samuels Smith (“Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk”).

Duncan will dance with everybody dance!  students at the May 31 event in a routine he both choreographed and taught them.

Carol Zee, Artistic Director for everybody dance! shares, “Our kids are thrilled and inspired to have a legend such as Duncan working with them. It’s an experience they wouldn’t have otherwise. Something they’ll always remember.”

Honored alongside Duncan on May 31 will be the Lynn-Soodik-Stephan Wasserman Family with the Founders Award; Yvonne Mounsey, founder and director of Santa Monica’s “Westside Ballet,” with the Advancement of the Arts Award, and actress/dancer Jenna Dewan (”Step Up” and “Take the Lead”) with the Limelight Award.

Duncan was also recently awarded an honorary doctorate degree in Performing Arts in American Dance from Oklahoma State University. He lives in Van Nuys and grew up in Pasadena.

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Arthur Duncan

Royce Gallery

San Francisco