What does Black History Month sound like? At the youth services non-profit A Place Called Home in South Central Los Angeles, it sounds something like the tapping feet of kids. Every Friday in February, girls ages eight to thirteen show up and learn to hoof. Looking out at them are tap masters Gregory Hines and Savion Glover, whose magazine pictures hang on the wall.
Dance Coordinator Jewel Delegall, who holds the workshop, has a long history with tap. It was the first job she ever had. She worked on the film tap when she was 14. Her dance department also offers classes in Afro-Samba, ballet, jazz, yoga, hip-hop, capoeira and hula each week day afternoon from four to six thirty.
“Hoofing is a little more old school, more organic,” she says. “The street versus the stage. For example, even though Greg Hines was a show tapper, in the sense of he was the celebrity, he really was organically a hoofer. The piece that I showed them was a piece that I had learned from Henry LeTang, who is one of the original choreographers and a hoofer.”
A Place Called Home is located on the corner of South Central Avenue and 29th Street. It’s a safe haven for kids to play and learn after school and in the summer.
This week, Delegall is teaching something a little more traditional, like you might see on Broadway. “Tap was my first love. And I just love tap,” she says.
Next month, her A Place Called Home dancers will be performing at Nokia Theatre.