Tap Preservation Awards

The annual Tap Preservation Award is given to an outstanding individual or organization in the field,

for the superior advancement of tap dance through presentation and preservation.

2006 - Rusty Frank is a Tap Dancer and Lindy Hopper, producer, choreographer, writer, and dance preservationist. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book TAP! The Greatest Tap Dance Stars and Their Stories 1900-1955, the producer and choreographer of the stage revues "Swingin' The Century - The Big Band Show" and "Jazz Tap." Rusty is the producer of the one-hour television special in production, "TAP! Tempo of America" (recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant). Rusty has been a professional dancer since her college days, and has performed throughout the world and locally at such locales as The Hollywood Bowl, Disneyland, and the Derby. She is part of the Smithsonian Institute's Jazz Oral History project, a contributing author in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Oxford Encyclopedia of Dance, the Danish National Encyclopedia, Jazz: The First Century, and The American National Biography.   Rusty has appeared in many dance documentaries, including the BBC's "Fascinating Rhythms - The Story of Tap," and Bravo's "This Joint Is Jumpin'." Her associated choreographies to "Jeep Jockey Jump" and "Shout and Feel It"* have entered the into the staples of swing dancer routines throughout the world along with the Shim Sham, The Lindy Chorus, and The California Routine. Since 1998, Rusty's "Lindy By The Sea" dance school (El Segundo, California) offers group and private classes in Swing Dance, Lindy Hop, Balboa, Collegiate Shag, and Charleston. Rusty began her dancing career at the tender age of six, when she saw her first Shirley Temple movie ("I wanna do that!"). She started with tap dancing, studying with many of the great tap masters, including her mentor, Louis DaPron, as well as Fayard Nicholas, Brenda Bufalino, Steve Condos, Gene Nelson, Miriam Nelson, LaVaughn Robinson, Bob Scheerer, Lou Wills, Jr., Leonard Reed, Dorothy Toy, Katherine Hopkins Nicholas, and Jon Zerby.  She has tap danced professionally over the years with The San Francisco Tap Troupe, Six Feet (Wayne Doba, Rodney Price), Pedal Extremities (Walter Freeman, Mark Mendonca, Michael Rainey), Tapology (Patti Meagher), The Rhythm Rascals (Walter Freeman), Mulligan and Whitmore "Tops in Taps" (Chester Whitmore), and The Rhythm Pals (Alfred Desio). In 1989, 1990, and 1991, Rusty produced, directed, and appeared in the sellout all-star tap revue "Jazz Tap"! featuring the Nicholas Brothers, Savion Glover, Jeni LeGon, Arthur Duncan, and Brenda Bufalino. Rusty had featured roles in many musical theatre productions, including "42nd Street," "Babes In Arms," "Dames at Sea," and "Stepping Out." In 1996, Rusty added another great American dance to her repertoire -- Lindy Hop, also known as Jitterbug or Swing Dance when she saw The Jiving Lindy Hoppers ("I wanna do that!"). She moved to the United Kingdom for two years and partnered with world-renowned English Lindy Hopper Simon Selmon, together making numerous television, movie, radio, festival, and special event appearances. Rusty returned to the United States in 1998, making her home in Southern California. She teamed up with Peter Flahiff, in the act "SWING SHIFT" from 1998-2002. They taught extensively throughout Southern California, including every Wednesday at The Rhythm Club (since 2001), and were guest teachers at The Satin Ballroom, and the world- famous Derby, in Hollywood, California. In 2000, Rusty, together with composer, arranger, band leader Bill Elliott, produced the stage musical revue "Swingin' The Century - The Big Band Show" featuring the Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra and Rusty's performance team "The Jitterbugs".  In 2003, Rusty welcomed her new "Rhythm Pals", Ron Campbell and Giovanni Quintero, to the Lindy By The Sea teaching team. In the world of Lindy Hop, Rusty counts amongst her teachers and inspirations:  Jean Veloz, Ralph Phelps, Irene Thomas, Jewell McGowen, Frankie Manning, Norma Miller, Louise Thwaite, The Rhythm Hot Shots, Betty Wood, and Barbara Rice and Sam Militello. In 2003, Rusty teamed up with tap dancer Gregory Gast, and together they have performed at the Derby, the Los Angeles Jazz Sweet and Hot Festival, and at Rusty's own Rhythm Club. Rusty is a highly sought after teacher of Tap, Lindy Hop, Baloba, Collegiate Shag, and Charleston at international dance camps, including the Herrang Dance Camp, Sweden; Boogie Baren's, Germany; Perth Hullabaloo, Australia, Dance Explosion, Norway; Russia's first Lindy Hop Festival, London Lindy Hop Festival, England; Mainz Dance Camp, Germany; International Tap Dance Camp, Finland; Tappin', in Scotland & Norway, and Belgium; and nationally at Swing Camp Catalina, California; Harvest Moon Swing Out, California; Flying Home; Washington, DC; Detroit Tap Festival; and the St. Louis Tap Festival. Her choreography credits include productions on stage, film, and niteclubs. She choreographed swing dance sequences for the Fox television show "Quintuplets"'s episode "Swing Swing Swing." Rusty is on the Board of Directors for The Profesional Dance Society (PDS) and a retired Board member of the Academy of Dance on Film.

American Tap Dance Foundation

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