Choreographer Chloe Arnold brings passion to tap dancing


Washington, D.C., native Chloe Arnold is one of the more accomplished dancers in the business. She’s become one of the more renowned tap dancers in the world, establishing Chloe & Maud Productions with her sister and releasing her own instructional dance DVD. Her latest  choreography hit “Beyonce Tap Salute – by Chloe’s Syncopated Ladies”, has gone viral after Beyonce shared it on her facebook wall, saying “They Killed It!”  (See video here.) She has appeared in music videos, on television shows and in feature films.According to Arnold, tap has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember.

“I’ve been dancing since I was 6 years old,  starting in D.C., and [then]  I came to New York City to learn and study at Columbia University,” she explains. “Then, I followed my mentor, Debbie Allen, to Los Angeles. Now, I perform, teach and share this beautiful art form around the world.”

One of the great benefits of Arnold’s career is her having studied at the feet of some of the greats. In addition to working with Allen, Arnold also came under the tutelage of one of tap’s most iconic contemporary stars.

“When I was 10 years old, I had the incredible opportunity to be a part of Savion Glover‘s D.C. crew,” Arnold shares. “It was through that experience that I was introduced to the masters of tap: The Nicholas Brothers, Jimmy Sly, Gregory Hines — and the inspiration from these incredible people … really touched my heart. From then forth, I knew I wanted to be a tap dancer.”

“This form is very male-dominated,” she explains. “You’d be hard-pressed, unless you’re really a tap fan, to know female tap dancers. So I’ve had to work really, really hard to sharpen my chops so that I can hang with the fellas. But I’ve also got to stay in touch with who I am as a woman — so that I can bring the femininity as well as the ferocity.”

Arnold has joined the cast of HBO’s acclaimed period drama “Boardwalk Empire” this season as one of the Onyx Girls, a troupe of dancers that perform at a lavish Atlantic City speakeasy operated by Chalky White (Michael K. Williams.)

“I’m so excited to be dancing on ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ ” she shares. “I was brought to the project because of tap dancing, because the 1920s were filled with tap. You’re going to be blown away.”

Tap dancing provides a joy for Arnold that nothing else can match. Her enthusiasm for it is evident in her performance and in her undying celebration of the art form and what it’s meant for her.

“I love tap,” she says directly. “It feeds my soul, it inspires me and it is the ultimate form of freedom.”

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