We’re all familiar with the different types of entertainment that Memphis has to offer. Live bands, hip hop shows, dance and drama at the local theaters, and open mic nights for whatever art form is hitting your soul on that particular night. But there’s one thing in particular that doesn’t get a buzz as much as it should: tap dancing.
That’s right. Memphis is home of the all-female professional tap dancing troupe, the Hot Foot Honeys. Last night, I attended their “Honeys on Tap” production at the Buckman Performing Arts Center. Beforehand, I knew that this was going to be a variety show. I was put on to it by local rapper Knowledge Nick, who is one of the featured artists. Still, I was not aware of the overall theme of the production, and whether or not hip hop was the only mashup.
I was extremely pleased to find out that there was a plethora of art forms being showcased, either individually or mixed in with the tap. The other artists featured were Inner City South (poets), 901 Breakers (break dancers), Steven Prince Tate (dancer), Amber Lea (dancer), plus young tap dancers from The Dance Academy of Bartlett LRP Studios, and CK Dance Theatre. The show was split into two acts, with a 10 minute intermission in between. Lucky for audience members, there were two raffle prizes given out during that time.
My favorite part of the show was the Sandman portion. This section of the show honored Howard Sims, the famed tap dancer who is known for doing his tap combos on a wooden platform covered with sand. After showing a tribute video, the Honeys performed a mystical, but quirky routine with CK Dance Theatre’s Cyara Whyte. It was set up to look like the Honeys magically appeared in Whyte’s bedroom. She went from being startled to sort-of hypnotized, then delighted to join in and dance with the troupe.
Still, each piece offered something special. The styles were different. Even the lighting and costumes were dynamic. The backdrops could be bright, or sultry and dim, depending on the piece, and the Honeys effortlessly glided across the stage in fringes, sequins, stripes, dresses, and even in cute, distorted jeans. Along with the different styles, the variety of performance types will keep you captivated. From Amber Lea’s seductive belly dancing, to the Sandman montage, to the hip hop and tap mixed performance of Knowledge Nick’s “The M”, this show has something for audience members of every age to enjoy. If you can, spread the word and bring a friend or family member to this show.
The last production of Honeys on Tap is today at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online or at the door.