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Why tap dance is worship for Miami choreographer Marshall L. Davis Jr.

Marshall Davis Jr. will make a return to the stage in his new show Revelations in Rhythm.
Marshall Davis Jr.
Marshall Davis Jr. will make a return to the stage in his new show Revelations in Rhythm.

When you listen to dancer Marshall L. Davis Jr. talk about his tap shoes, it sounds like Michael Jordan talking about his sneakers.

A shoe is just a shoe until somebody like Davis steps into it. How he uses his tap shoes proves his point. He’s made a career with his feet.

He is a professional dancer and a professor at Queens College in New York. And he’s a local.

He has a new show in South Florida opening on Saturday that’s a sort of homecoming. That clip you heard is from his show, Revelations in Rhythm. It celebrates tap dancing as a form of worship.

Davis' first started tap dancing as a boy at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in Liberty City, where his father is still the director.

The art form spoke to him immediately.

He was just a teen when he won Star Search — which was like the original America’s Got Talent. He tap danced for the animated movie Happy Feet 2. And he’s appeared in several Broadway shows, including the Tony award-winning production of Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk.

On the May 24 episode of Sundial, Davis joined us to talk about how the show he’s bringing to Florida Memorial University, Revelations in Rhythm, is closer to his heart, his soul — and the soles of his feet.

On Sundial's previous episode, Jason Katzjoined us to talk about some of South Florida’s haunted places and people.

Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify
Marshall Davis Jr.

Carlos Frías is a bilingual writer, a journalist of more than 25 years and the author of an award-winning memoir published by Simon & Schuster.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.
Elisa Baena is a former associate producer for Sundial.
Helen Acevedo, a freelance producer, is a grad student at Florida International University studying Spanish-language journalism, a bilingual program focused on telling the stories of diverse communities.