Columbia University graduate Chloé Arnold recounts her most embarrassing moment as a tap dancer very gracefully. She says Baakari Wilder called her into a dance circle and asked her to freestyle in front of other noted tap professionals, including Savion Glover , behind the scenes of the show Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk. The only problem was, she had never improvised her tap dancing before and she proceeded not to do so well. But, Chloé, being who she is, went home and prepared for the next time and for every time after thtat.
Chloé Arnold has since then co-founded the D.C. Tap Festival with her sister Maud, served as the co-director of the L.A. Tap Festival and debuted her one-woman show “My Life, My Diary, My Dance” in both Dubai and New York City. She’s performed at The Kennedy Center, in the hit film Idlewild, and all over the world in over 18 International Tap Festivals.
Trained as an actress and in film studies, Chloé is versatile in the arts. She was encouraged to diversify and strengthen all her talents and interests while studying under the tutelage of famed director, actress and dancer Debbie Allen. “She said to me, ‘you’ve got to have it all, honey‘”, Chloé affects a slight accent. When her theater teacher didn’t understand her booking a role to dance for Bill Gates during college, Chloé changed majors.
Her affinity for tap dancing grew from the moment when her mother, also a trained dancer, told her and a friend to re-choreograph a piece that a teacher had given her to the song Sweet Georgia Brown, “my mother looked at [the original piece] and was like, ‘no’”. From there she never stopped, even taking classes in between her classes at Columbia.
The D.C. and L.A. tap festivals are still going strong, hosting concerts, contests, history classes and workshops. An alum from the D.C. festival even branched off and started a tap festival in Texas, which Chloé talks about gleefully. She continues to teach dance classes bi-coastally and choreograph for her all female troupe the Syncopated Ladies, seemingly taking Ms. Allen’s advice and doing it all.
Her advice for young woman who want to be tap dancers: train. “Train so no one every questions your desire, ability or skill. Command every room you walk into, the way you present yourself will be remembered and your reputation is everything.” And, of course, never give up, especially in the face of those who don’t believe in you.
For more information, a list of upcoming performance dates and a full bio visit ChloeArnold.Com
(Photograph from chloearnold.com)