How Tap Dancing Saved Savion Glover and How it Saved Him

Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with Savion Glover, tap dancing’s wunderkind, who has been credited by some as “the man who saved tap dancing.” He talks about his take on the dance that took him from the streets of Newark, NJ to the some of the biggest stages in the world.

1/24/17 #2008






"That is one talented guy! He is Savion Glover. He is a dancer, actor, choreographer, and we are honored to have him here in the world of public broadcasting. How you doing? I'm doing well. Thank you. Great. You are a...? And you? I'm doing great. Good. We are born and raised in Brick City, both of us. Newark, New Jersey. That's right. Tell folks about your journey from Newark, to here on Broadway and 66th Street and everything in between. Oh man. It's... And by the way, PS, when did you know you were so talented? You know, this morning. [laughter] I got a text. [laughter] And it had a emoji saying, "You're on the right track." Hmm. But, no, I... you know, I'm just so thankful for just being alive, and being able to share my gift and talent with the world. People have the opportunity to see me develop in front of their eyes. Everything that I am is through my dance. Wherever I am in life, in the moment, whatever I, you know, whatever music I'm listening to, wherever I am, as far as my age, it all just comes out in my dance. I'm just happy, man. Just thankful and happy. Hmm. And honored. Some of the... speaking of the honors that you have had, you have had the honor of learning from dancing with, being around some of the most extraordinary performers. Sammy Davis Jr.? Mm hmm. You know, Gregory Hines? And so many others. Talk to us, talk to our public television audience about what it was like being around some of these extraordinary people at such a young age. You know, it's... I grew up with just my mom. My two brothers and my mom. A single parent. My father was not around. When these men came into my life, Gregory Hines, Jimmy Slyde, and Lon Chaney, and all these great entertainers, they not only filled the void, but they showed me so much of, you know, not only myself, but to my family. Hmm. And they, again, just talking about filling a void, they just came in at the perfect time. And they treated me not like a dancer friend, but they treated me like a brother. Or a son. Or a grandson. And, you know, the dance aspect was secondary. [laughter] You know, these guys were sharing life lessons and teaching me life lessons. And it was... my... my... my time with them, aside from seeing my child develop now, my time with these men were the best times of my life. I mean, hopefully I have more life..."