Arthur Duncan

Arthur Duncan is a renowned American tap dancer. He was born on September 25, 1933, in Pasadena, California. Duncan gained prominence for his appearances on “The Lawrence Welk Show,” a popular musical variety series that aired from 1955 to 1982. Duncan started his dance training at a young age and honed his skills in tap dancing. He became a proficient dancer known for his energetic and precise footwork. In 1955, he joined “The Lawrence Welk Show” as a regular performer, making history as the first African American to become a regular on a national variety program.

Duncan’s performances on “The Lawrence Welk Show” captivated audiences with his smooth moves and lively routines. He showcased his talent and versatility by performing a variety of tap dance styles, including traditional tap, soft-shoe, and rhythm tap. Duncan’s exceptional skill and stage presence contributed significantly to his popularity and success on the show. Throughout his career, Duncan also made appearances on other television programs, including “The Hollywood Palace,” “The Flip Wilson Show,” and “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” He continued to perform on stage and television, delighting audiences with his tap dancing expertise.

Arthur Duncan’s contributions to tap dancing and his trailblazing role as an African American performer on a national television show helped break down racial barriers in the entertainment industry. He remains an influential figure in the world of tap dancing, inspiring future generations of dancers with his talent and paving the way for diversity in entertainment.

In 1954 Betty White had a talk show and faced criticism for including a black tap dancer, Arthur Duncan, on her show. Betty responded with “I’m sorry. Deal with it” and gave Duncan more airtime. Her show was canceled afterward.

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