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Kathie Fry, Editor of Tap Dancing Resources
Kathie Fry, Editor
Tap Dancing Resources
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Remembering Tap Dancer William Henry Lane

information about tap dancer William Henry Lane, an early African American tap dancing pioneer known for blending African style syncopated dance rhythms with British Isles jig and reel steps.

FULL NAME: William Henry Lane
STAGE NAMES: "Master Juba" and "Boz's Juba"
DATE OF BIRTH: 1825 (born free, not a slave)
PLACE OF BIRTH: Providence, Rhode Island
DATE OF DEATH: 1852 or 1853

1825:
Born in Providence Rhode Island

1840:
Hired by P. T. Barnum to perform at Barnum’s Museum. Lane was billed as “Master Juba, the Dancing Wonder of the Age.”

1846
Starred as "Box's Juba" with a troupe of white performers in blackface who were known as the Ethiopian Serenaders.

1948
He became famous in Great Britain when the Ethiopian Serenaders appeared in London in 1948. The troupe later toured in both the United States and Great Britain.

Some sources say he opened a dancing school in London, England at one point in his life. His lat known performance was as City Tavern in Dublin, Ireland, in September 1851.

William Henry Lane died in London at about age 27 in 1852 or 1853.

Resources

Master Juba Dot com

Black Past "Master Juba William Henry Lane" Article

Wikipedia "Master Juba" Article



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