Before she joined the circus in 1942 at the age of 16, Jamila Salimpour frequented the Apollo Theater in Harlem (New York City) to see the exciting music and dance performances.  She became a huge fan of the Nicolas Brothers.  Fayard Nicolas (1914-2006) and Harold Nicolas (1921-2000) were tap dancers, regarded by many as the best tap dancers of their era.  They had an exciting, acrobatic style that was referred to as “flash dancing”.  Much information is available on the internet and other sources about this talented duo, and we encourage you to research more about them.  Below are just a few links; in case the links become inactive, additional information is given so you can search to find the clips or references elsewhere.

Clip from the movie “Stormy Weather” (1943).  Clip features Cab Calloway and his orchestra performing “Jumpin Jive”.  The Nicolas Brothers join about 90 seconds after the start of the clip.

Interview with Fayard Nicholas.  NVLP Collection of African American Oral Histories at the Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

Documentary.  We Sing. We Dance. (1992).  Arts & Entertainment documentary about the Nicolas Brothers directed by Michael Martin.

Article Page 1.  Page 2.  Biederman, Patricia Ward.  “Fayard Nicolas:  Dancer Taps Into Fond Memories”.  Los Angeles Times, Dec 2, 1985.


Photo:  Nicholas Brothers performing “Chattanooga Choo Choo” in the movie, Sun Valley Serenade (1941).