documentary Channel

Montreal's 'Tap Queen' taught her young students more than dance

In Ethel Bruneau’s class, children were taught to embrace their Blackness

In Ethel Bruneau’s class, children were taught to embrace their Blackness

Meet Ethel Bruneau, Montreal's tap Queen: Dear Jackie

2 months ago
Duration 4:13
Ethel Bruneau moved to Montreal from Harlem, New York in 1953, at a time when black tap dancers dominated the city's lively nightclub scene. Nicknamed The Tap Queen, she was known for her skilled routines and was booked to perform every week.

Ethel Bruneau moved to Montreal from Harlem, New York in 1953, at a time when Black tap dancers dominated the city's lively nightclub scene. Nicknamed 'The Tap Queen,' she was known for her skilled routines and was booked to perform every week. 

Through her dance lessons, Bruneau taught her students a wealth of cultural heritage and history. 

"One of the things that Ethel Bruneau is very well known for is that when you came into her studio, you are not just learning tap dancing; you are learning the history of tap," says a former student.

Her classes were a space where Blackness was embraced, and where students, including her children and grandchildren, were able to empower themselves. 

Watch the video above to learn more about Ethel Bruneau. 

Watch Dear Jackie on the documentary Channel.

 

Credits:

EDIT DIRECTOR | VIDEO EDITOR - ALINE-SITOÉ N'DIAYE 
SCREENWRITER | DAVID ENG NARRATOR | HENRI PARDO 
DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCER | KATHY SPERBERG

 

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