#Jimmy Slyde, born “James Titus Gotbolt”, was a world-renowned tap dancer who was known for his innovative tap style mixed with jazz. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia on October 2, 1927, and moved shortly after with his family to Boston where he grew up. #Slyde began tap lessons at the age of 12 after seeing Bill Robinson perform. He formed a routine with another dancer who he met at the “New England Conservatory of Music School.” Together they traveled and performed in clubs along with big bands. Slyde performed for a while with big names such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie until work became slim.
In the 1970s he settled in Paris, where, with the help of Sarah Petronio, one of the pioneering women of tap, he helped introduce rhythm tap. Slyde later danced in films such as Tap, The Cotton Club and Round Midnight and appeared on many television specials. In 1989 he was nominated for a Tony award for his Broadway debut in the musical #Black and Blue. In recent years, Slyde received a number of significant honors, including the NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award (1999), the Charles “Honi” Coles Award (2001), a Guggenheim Fellowship for Choreography (2003), and an honorary Doctorate of Performing Arts from Oklahoma City University. Slyde died in 2008.