Try Guys Try Tap Dance
(shoes tapping) - Tap dance! - We're tippin', we're tappin'. Today we're tap dancing. - Toe, heel, toe, heel. - [Try Guys] Hey! - Toe, heel, toe.
- It's one of the only dances where it is incredibly obvious if someone's off. - If this becomes like a real life skill, I'll just become insufferable. I would just tap dance everywhere.
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- It's gonna be nice. (cha cha music) - These are slippery. - Yeah, you got this whole studio. You can run, do slides.
(Zach laughing) - Okay. Yeah! - I don't really know the history of tap dancing, but I do love it. It's one of the only dances you can do without music because you are both the musician and the dancer. - There was this beautiful age of Hollywood where tap dancing was in every movie, it seemed. Everybody's pretended to tap dance in life, right? You just tappity tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
- Did you know that my left foot is a half size larger than my right foot? Other things about me. Don't have the best rhythm. Put it out there. Over the course of 48 hours, we will have to learn and perform an entire tap dance routine.
- And then we're going to perform that routine for a surprise audience. - Everyone thinks that they can tap dance. You right now watching this, you think that you can tap dance. 'Cause you're like, yeah, just.
I assume it'll be exactly that easy. (Cathie tapping) (Try Guys cheering) - Wow! Wow! - So my name is Miss Cathie Nicholas, and you are at Nicholas Dance Studio, located in Los Angeles, California. - Today we are meeting with Miss Cathie Nicholas. She is the granddaughter of the world famous Nicholas Brothers. - Everybody should know who the Nicholas Brothers are. They are the greatest tap dance duo to ever live.
My great grandparents were musicians at the Cotton Club. So just like I'm sure lots of children go to work with their parents, My grandfather went to work and he would watch the dancers. He would watch the pianist.
He would watch the drummers and watch how they moved, listened to the rhythms, and he taught himself. And then seven years later when his younger brother was born, he taught him and the rest is history. Their biggest heyday was between the 1920s and the 1940s. They're most famous for their stair dance, which is in the movie, "Stormy Weather." They were very popular in a time where the world was not so nice to them. They were headlining in hotels, and theaters, and movies, and had to stay in motels 10 miles down and enter through the back kitchen.
But that never took away their shine. My job as the granddaughter is to carry on their legacy. - She teaches like ages two to 92, which is kind of how I would describe myself. Both of those things.
So I think I'm game today. - Are you ready to get started? - Let's get started! - Let's do it! So we're gonna face the mirror and we're gonna spread out. - Okay, so it's just the metal in the front, metal in the back. Nothing special about it.
Just metal. - I have done a tiny, itty bitty bit of tap dancing before. I'm hoping it's like I'm gonna get back up on a bicycle.
- For a second, I'm gonna just let you guys make as much noise as you want. Just go crazy. I want you to feel the shoes. - Watch me, Miss Cathie. - Yeah! - Miss Cathie! - All of that! - Miss Cathie! - [Miss Cathie] All of that, all of that. - I've never tried tap dancing, really.
I haven't tried most dances. Is stomping going to make my body hurt? - First step in tap that you ever learn is called a shuffle. So just repeat after me, say shuffle. - [Try Guys] Shuffle.
- Shuffle. - [Try Guys] Shuffle. - Exactly.
- 10 years ago, I learned one routine, one time for a sketch show. I taught myself a routine off of YouTube, and then every day at lunch, I would go in the basement of this lab that I worked at and would just kind of practice tap dancing while nobody was watching me. - All right, let's try some rhythm. - Yeah. - I'll call it.
- That wasn't rhythm? - Not quite, not quite. Tap dancing, I always say it's kind of like the ABCs. There are a couple of tap steps that you need to learn and master, and then obviously you put them together, create beautiful rhythmic poetry, and all of that. - Let's learn some ABCs. - Hey.
Shuffle, shuffle, step, step. Shuffle, shuffle, step, step. (shoes tapping) Heel, heel, heel, heel.
So it's just the heel, uh huh. We gotta get the feet first. It's all about the feet.
I actually heard somebody say that tap dancing is kind of like ducks swimming. You know, they're underwater doing all of this, all of this craziness, but on top they just look like, but yeah, we got to get those feet first. Dig, dig, dig, step. So this is this one, uh huh. It'll be dig, dig, toe, toe. So we pick 'em up.
- Oh! - So it alternates. So we go right, left, right, left. Left, right, very nice. Left, right, uh huh.
Rhythm is unfortunately the one thing that I won't be able to give you, so we'll work it out, we'll work it out. - We're gonna find it somewhere. - Yeah. Get back over here. - I'm getting water, I'm trying to tiptoe. - You have to ask.
- You have to ask. - Yes, oh yes, you are in class. - You have to ask to hydrate? - Yes! - Yes! Have you ever done a class in your life? - [Zach] What dictatorship is this? - It's dance class, bro.
- It's dance class. - You can't just walk over in the middle of class. - Did you say you were better than the toddlers? Oh my goodness - I never said I was better than a toddler. - How long has tap dancing been a style of dance? - Oh my gosh, so tap dancing actually originated in the slave trade days.
When the slave masters took away their instruments, they made music with their feet, and it was kind of a mesh between Irish clogging and African boot dancing, African drumming meshed together to make tap dancing. So it's literally been here as Black people have been here. - When I talked to all of these people like Sidney Poitier and all the other great actors of today, they said, "Nicholas Brothers, we want to thank you 'cause you are the pioneers. If it wasn't for you, we wouldn't be doing what we doing today." - I believe tap dancing is America's greatest art form. Hey! - [Try Guys] Wow! - Zach, do you want an iced matcha? - Don't you dare, Jack.
- [Miss Cathie] Do it, Jack! (Jack tapping) (group cheering) - Yay, Jack! - That's a frothy drink right there. (Jack tapping) - Get it, Jack, get it, Jack, get it, Jack! (Jack tapping) Hey! - I'm sorry, I know he works for us, but did Jack just become like 10 times more attractive? - Yeah, he's hot now. (upbeat music) - All right, are we ready to get shim-shammin'? - Shim sham! Yeah! - My calves are just worked.
- You guys are actually gonna be learning the shim sham shimmy. - Shim sham shimmy. - Oh yeah, there's no shimmying though, so I will just say there is no shimmy. - We're gonna add a shimmy.
- [Miss Cathie] Oh, yeah. - We're gonna shimmy a lot. - Okay, fantastic. - [All] Step, brush, step.
- Left foot. - [All] Step, brush, step. - Yeah, and then we go step, brush, march, march, step, brush, step. It's kind of like the Electric Slide, or The Wobble, or a two-step. Every tap dancer knows it.
Step, brush, step. Step, brush, step. Step, brush, march, march, step, brush step. Yes, almost, almost, okay. It's the brush to the back. You will have a toe tap and a heel tap.
- [Zach] Do they sound different? - They do, it's kind of like a drum so you'll have a treble and a bass. Step, brush, step, left foot. Step, brush, step, here we go. Step, brush, march, march, step, brush step, yes! - I'm thinkin' so hard right now. - We can't do that, we can't do that.
- I'm thinkin' so hard. - [Miss Cathie] We can't do that. - With tap dancing, you know, if it goes wrong, you can't really hide it. Like, 'cause you can hear it.
- Yes, you will, yes. - Well, what can go wrong? - Push, push, right foot. Toe, heel, toe, heel, step. Yes, same thing on the left. Here we go. Push, push, left foot.
Toe, heel, toe, again on the right. we are not jumping up and down. I think we were talking about earlier that people have always tried to make it look like no, it takes a lot of skill. Toe, heel, toe, heel, hey! Toe, heel, toe, step, step.
Toe, heel, toe, heel, hey! Toe, heel, toe. Only one hey? Really guys? - I forgot the hey. - Thank you for the hey. - I forgot the hey.
- I forgot the hey. - I said hey. - I wasn't even aware if I hey'd or not. - I need three heys. - It seems like tap dancing is one of the quintessential skills for an entertainer.
- You would think so, right? Because you're in Nicholas Dance Studio, of course you have to learn the Nicholas Brothers Break. Nowadays tap is actually a specialty. Back in my day, everybody took everything.
Dig, clap, step. Hop back, hop back. Open, close.
- You're crazy. - No, we got this! The Nicholas Brothers were all of that. They were ballet, they were tap, they were African, they sang, they danced, they acted. That's when you know you had to really be a triple threat to really be in the business. Dig, clap, step.
Hop back, hop back, open, close. - Oh, I hit your toe, I'm so sorry. (Miss Cathie screaming) - [Ned] Oh, no. - That's a good one. - [Ned] Oh, no.
- I got a metal stomp on my toe! - [Ned] I stomped on Zach's toe with my metal. - You are officially a tap dancer. We want to be safe and try not to fall. Tap, stay, tap, two, stop. Are you tripping over your feet? - I don't know what. - I'm sorry, nowhere in my mind was falling, I didn't know that was something I had to be afraid of.
- See! - I'm good, I'm good. - Hands down, hands down. Tap dancing always promotes self-control. (shoes tapping) Tap is alive and well, and rockin', and important. Tap matters, it really does. Brush, hit, step.
Brush, hit, step. Brush, hit, step. Brush, hit, step, step, uh huh.
- This one right here. - [Miss Cathie] That right foot. - Ooh, my heel is feelin' dirty. - All right, gentlemen, let's try this with music. - [Try Guys] Okay. - Now I'm telling you right now, the song is fast.
It is fast. So we're gonna try to practice and get up to it. But if we need to make some adjustments, we will do that. But let's, let's try to start up here. Five, six, seven, eight. And, a one, and a two.
(upbeat music) Three! Break, break. (shoes tapping) Push, push. Push, push.
Push, push. Hold on. - Hey! - One, two, three. One, two, keep goin'.
Now sun. Step, step. (upbeat music ends) (Ned screaming) (Keith laughing) - Oh my God! - [Miss Cathie] You made it! - That was so fast. - You made it. When you go home, what must you do? - Practice. Maybe we should pick a different song.
- So we need to find the song that we're going to be performing. - That's right. - [Zach] We're here on Epidemic Sound.
Do you want to do something electric or do you want to do something jazz classic? - Kinda feel like going more classic with it. - Yeah, I think also we're supposed to do jazz. (upbeat jazz music) - Oh, this one's funny. - We have a little bit of a tuba moment. ("The Devil's Defiance") - I like these big band sounds. We need it to feel climax.
This is the end of our video. - It is. - [Ned] This one feels good.
- [Keith] I also like how it's clear that that's where you start the dance. - The first couple minutes, we're just like. - Right. Hi, it's us. It's the Fulmer Brothers. - All right.
- Got a fun horn. - I like this one. I think I like it better than that other piece. - Yeah, and it also, it's actually a little bit slower. - Is it really? - Yes, that's kinda nice. - I do have some news.
- Yeah? - I've been having a pretty bad AS flare up and it's really hurtin' my joints to do the tapping, so I cannot put in the time I need to practice. So I need to bow out of the performance. - The Try Tap Trio! - I know. - The Try Tap Trio.
- We need a Try Tap Trio. - Well now you're the Try Brothers and we need you. - I also haven't practiced any. - Keith, it's up to you.
- I have been practicing but I wouldn't say I'm good. (upbeat electronic music) - All right, so it's 9:30 p.m.. My whole household is finally asleep. Normally I would either go to bed, or play some video games, or watch my movie or something, but tonight I'm gonna learn tap dancing. (Ned tapping) Gotta be quiet. There's no quiet tap dancing.
- Let's lace up these bad boys. (Keith tapping) (beep) How am I supposed to not look at my feet? Okay, a little rocky, admittedly. The thing about practicing tap dancing alone, it's much like practicing anything alone when it's normally an ensemble piece, is it just sounds empty. (Ned humming and tapping) - Pretty fast. Starting to get sweaty. Oh boy.
- Suckin' pretty, pretty hard, okay? I'm suckin' hard. But I'm gonna keep practicing and we'll get it. We'll get it.
- All right, it's now 10:30. I've been practicing for an hour. My kids are gonna be up in seven hours. - [Keith] I'm here.
It's Lewberger rehearsal. We're practicin' for a little concert we're doin' and I got the tap shoes out. We're tippity tappin'. How have I sounded, boys? - Sounds awesome, actually. - Sounds pretty good. We might even have to throw in a little tap number into our next show.
- [Keith] 'Cause you do tap. - I do, I do tap. I'm only a little better than you. Only a little.
- [Keith] I think you're probably a lot better than me but you're not good. - That's true. - I just did it once looking at Miss Cathie's thing and I kinda feel like I actually did it.
It's the age old question. Do you cram the night before and you don't get sleep, or you sleep and trust it's in there, and sleep will help you. Yes! That's jazz. (upbeat music) Okay, I'm into this too, though. (dramatic music) - All right, well, first of all, let's clap it up. Yes, here we are.
I have been working with the Try Guys. There were only three of them at the time, and then actually one of them had a slight injury, so we are protecting his safety, so there are only going to be two of them performing, but it's all good. - Oh, how are we feelin'? - We were just talking about how we were nervous. - Yeah, a little nervous. I mean, first live show in over two years.
- [Nick] Yeah, you know that Cathie's father is out there in the audience. - That's big pressure. - That's big time.
- Yeah, I didn't know there was so many legacy members here. - You know, I've had an opportunity of being around some of the greatest tap dancers in the world. I'm looking forward to seeing the Try Guys.
I know Cathie hasn't had a great deal of time to work with them so I'm not sure how they're gonna do. - We do look like magicians. - Uh oh. But you sound like tap dancers. - Whether they look good or bad, they're gonna try real hard. - [Zach] Our ballet video, I believe you saw? - Yes.
- [Zach] How was that? - It was interesting. (group laughing) - All right, there's no Eugene to hide behind in this dance recital, you know. - It's just us.
- Just us. - [Nick] All right, good luck, boys. - Thank you. - Try Tappin' Twins. - Try Tappin' Twins.
- Please just give a round of applause and a big old Nicholas Dance Studio welcome to the Try Guys. (audience cheering) - Hello, Nicholas Studio, how are we feelin' today? Oh, come on, you can do better than that. How are we doin', Nicholas Dance Studio? (audience cheering) Now keep that applause goin' for Ned Fast Foot Fulmer and Keith Handsome Heels Habersberger together. They are the Try Tapping Trio Minus One! (audience cheering) ("The Devil's Defiance") (Ned and Keith tapping) ("The Devil's Defiance" continues) - Hey! (Ned and Keith tapping continues) ("The Devil's Defiance" ends) (audience cheering) - Whoo, look at you guys go! - Whoa. - We did it! - Oh wow, that was so much fun.
From start to finish, I had a blast in this video, and I feel like we did pretty okay. - Yeah, I think we did pretty good. - It was a great performance and I really, really enjoyed it. - And it's not about competing, it's not about perfection, it's about having fun.
- [Nick] What did you think of the Try Guys? - Oh, fantastic. Oh, fantastic. I enjoyed it, I love music. - I also think that it brings other people joy to watch it. Like it is so joyful. - Pleasure was all mine.
You guys were fantastic. Thank you so much for coming in. - Thank you for sharing this with us.
It was just an absolute treat and a privilege. - One more time for Miss Cathie, yeah! - Oh, I was very impressed and I'm very unimpressed with most people most times. They cheated on some steps, I know that. (group laughing) But we all cheat.
We all cheat. - [Miss Cathie] Call 'em out, Doctor Susan! - It's about the look. - [Zach] Thank you to Epidemic Sound for sponsoring this video. (upbeat music) (Jack tapping) (Miss Cathie tapping) (Jack tapping) (group cheering)