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Xavier Cugat concert program, 1953

Tap Dance | A Beginners Guide
Trina Marx

Tap Dance | A Beginner's Guide was written by Trina Marx and published by Prentice-Hall in 1983. The book offers this brief profile of Ms. Marx, "Trina Marx has studied tap dance extensively with several great tap artists and has taught throughout the greater New York area to people of all ages. She is working toward her doctorate in healing arts." Indeed, Ms. Marx went on to earn her Doctor of Chiropractic certification and additional certifications in the State of New York as a Dietician/Nutritionist and Naturopathic Physician. Sadly, as we updated this page in the summer of 2007, we have learned of the passing of Ms. Marx in March of 2006. An informative obituary can be found in The Journal News.

Trina Marx

Once again, there is little information on the Internet about Ms. Marx early career in tap beyond her participation in Brenda Bufalino's dance company in the 1970's and early 80's, but surely it took a great deal of effort and considerable connection to produce such a fine book as Tap Dance | A Beginner's Guide and this book must have been very popular at that time. There are many copies available now on the Net from various used bookstores.

The book illustrates many fundamental steps with pictures but far more than an instructional book, Tap Dance | A Beginner's Guide offers a nice overview of the history of Tap and profiles of several great tap dancers such as Leon Collins, Kathy Harris, Charles "Honi" Coles, Leslie "Bubba" Gaines, Brenda Bufalino and Steve Condos (my personal favorite). Ms. Marx also presents Gail Coward, Pat Giordano and Jane Goldberg as "young, hopeful" tap dancers in the future chapter. Until Rusty Frank's TAP, Ms. Marx's book was one of the few offering so many portraits of great tap dancers. This book contains 10 chapters and a Foreword by Brenda Bufalino The chapter titles include: Introduction, The Beginning, Improvisation, Musicality, Vaudeville, Hollywood, Body Movement, History of Dance, History of Tap, The Future. I love "the future" chapter. How does the reality of the tap scene today compare to Ms. Marx expectations and predictions? A little dated now perhaps, but I think Tap Dance | A Beginner's Guide is still a good read for any tap dancer.

— Shinichi Matsumoto

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