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Dancer Omar Edwards Kicks Off Black History Month

Each February, Delbarton makes time to honor the history of Black people in America and across the globe. This is an intentional act, a direct response to the diaspora and forced loss of tradition, familiar ties and lost history due to the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We recognize these historical facts, and each year try to move forward from them by celebrating Black history and culture. We honor the perseverance, intercultural sharing and creativity, talent, intellect, history and unity…and we do it together.  

On January 29, tap dancer Omar Edwards got our Black History Month party started a few days early and in a major way by stomping his way into our hearts and minds on the FAC stage.

Edwards says he honors ‘the spirit of the ancestors and their contribution to the genre’ as he explores the history and significance of Tap dancing from its beginnings in America when African American slaves, deprived of their drums by slave owners, began creating rhythms with their feet. He taught Delbarton students about this history, but ultimately celebrated the creation of something new and beautiful in tap dance.  “Why is tap still around? Why does this art form keep getting better? Because it keeps changing!”

He was accompanied by several band members, then introduced two young, very impressive tap dancers on stage to wow the crowd...

The highlight was successfully teaching seven hundred-plus students and teachers the Shuffle Step and, finally,  leading us in breakdown...took a few tries but they got it!

A Brooklyn native, Edwards is an internationally recognized Tap dancer and musician and has taken his self-described ‘Afro Feet’ to over twenty countries. Edwards trained under Olu Dara (musician, songwriter and father of rapper NAS), was a winner on TV show ‘Star Search’, performed on Broadway in ‘Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk’, starred as the ‘Sandman’ on ‘Showtime at the Apollo’. He has also performed live with Alicia Keys and recorded with rappers Common and Mos Def, was a featured guest on the Ellen DeGeneres show and performed at the White House.

Check out the soles of these three tap kings' shoes!

He certainly brought our house to life, and was the perfect launchpad for our month-long celebration of Black history and culture.

SAVE THE DATE: On Friday, February 28 from 6:30pm-9pm, Diversity Among Peers (DAP) concludes the month by welcoming all in our community to for our Black History Month culminating celebration, with great food, music, dance and history.

Join us as, together,  we honor the dynamic culture and the many contributions that African Americans have made to America, including the art of Tap!