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Gregory Hines: Still Tops In Taps This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Anyone who knows dance knows that Gregory Hines is a tap dancer, and one of considerable talent. Through successful films that include the dance movies "White Nights" and "Tap," Hines has also established himself as a talented actor. What may not be common knowledge is that Gregory Hines is also a singer and a very funny man.

On November 11, fans had the chance to enjoy all the varied talents of this performer when Gregory Hines made a rare Boston appearance for a benefit concert at Symphony Hall.

Hines has virtually grown up on stage. He began dancing before he was three and turned professional at age five, when he and his big brother Maurice formed The Hines Kids. They appeared in night clubs around the country, later toured internationally as The Hines Brothers, and eventually joined their father to form Hines, Hines, and Dad. Hines also performed at the famous Apollo Theater, where he watched and learned from tap legends like Sandman Sims, The Nicholas Brothers, and Teddy Hall. His performance at Symphony Hall was truly in the tradition of those great men, combining traditional black musical forms and tap styles with contemporary music and dance styles.

A dancer for 40 years, Hines is a performer who remembers how to play to his audience. He interacted, chatting and joking with the people in the front row, and lying flat on the stage so that those in the second balcony could see his face. The more enthusiastic the crowd, the better Hines gets. And the enthusiasm was high at Symphony Hall.

Hines opened the evening by singing "The Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," a high-energy song that set the tone for the entire show. Several songs followed, with "Heart of Rock and Roll" ending the show. During the show, Hines became dancer-turned-comedian, treating the audience to his impersonations of Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Overall, the audience was happiest when Gregory Hines was doing what he does best of all: tap dancing. The highlight of the show came when he danced "Tap, Son, Tap," a routine full of fancy footwork that showed off Hines' quick, clean style.

Theater-goers who arrived to see Gregory Hines' performance with no particular expectations were sure to have been very pleased with what they saw. And those fans who showed up expecting a first-rate performance were certainly not disappointed. Many even received a pleasant surprise or two.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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