2021 55¢ Tap Dance – Max Pollak
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: July 10, 2021
First Day City: New York, NY
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 18,000,000
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (May 25, 1878 – November 25, 1949) was the highest-paid African American entertainer in the first half of the 20th century. He was a dancer, actor, and singer, and made an especially big impact on tap dancing.
Dance critic Marshall Stearns once said, "Robinson's contribution to tap dance is exact and specific. He brought it up on its toes, dancing upright and swinging... hitherto-unknown lightness and presence." Robinson was a dancer from the age of five onward, originally dancing in the street for pennies. Eventually, he became a regular at the renowned Hoofer's Club and later went on to perform in several Broadway productions.
Robinson is most famous for his work with Shirley Temple during the 1930s, first partnering in The Little Colonel. In the film, Robinson performed his iconic Stair Dance, in which he tap danced up and down a set of stairs. He also taught the routine to seven-year-old Shirley Temple, and the two performed it side by side in the film. This scene became the highlight of the movie, albeit controversial in the South due to racial tensions.
In 1989, Congress declared Robinson's birthday National Tap Dance Day. There have been many great tap dancers over the years, but none quite like Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.