Billie Mahoney Dance Troupe

and Tap City 2007 - Preview Performance

See Related Links at Bottom:

Billie Mahoney's over-50 tap group gave a preview performance friday (6 July 2007) for their trip to New York City and Tap City's workshops. Their routine friday is the one they will present at Tap City on tuesday (July 11th). The friday preview was in the Overland Park Community Center - Johnson County Parks and Rec center - which will be closed down permanently in September.

Billie and Tony Waag (say: wahg) had known each other by name for a long time when they net up in Washington, DC in 2006. In 2000 Waag had organized a tap festival in NYC, a festival held annually. When Billie and Tony were in DC last year Tony invited her group to Tap City 2006 but the timing was too late. So this year She and her group are in NYC at Tap City. Billie is listed on the faculty of Tap City and will be teaching sunday, monday and tuesday.

Tony Waag's Tap City is on the web with the American Tap Dance Foundation ( Tap city is an eight-day event with dozens of workshops and instructors. This brings hundreds of dancers who range across all ages, including youth. Tappers both learn and perform for each other. Teachers come from across the country and overseas.

From the Tap City site: Each summer, hundreds of tap dancers gather from around the world to teach, study, perform, collaborate and explore. Tap City is a mesmerizing celebration of tap dance that promotes the virtues of community, individuality, and diversity, regardless of age, race, culture, gender, social and economic background. For More...

Billie Mahoney

Donna Patty in front


Cindy Bleck

Media Coverage and My Musings

Things are changing around town and all over for media. For most of the last thirteen years it seemed impossible to get media coverage of dance unless it was in performance. For a while I suspected that media types were deliberately and even specifically targeting dance as something to avoid at all costs. Suddenly, within the last half a year to three-quarters of a year everywhere I turn up The Star is sending out photogs and more to do something on dance. I would muchly love to think it has something to do with my criticisms last August about Star coverage of the fringe and the art scene (that, in my best Walter Mitty dreams of great self-importance, I induced them to show me up. The rational: I can't get pictures into the Star anymore and they keep sending out otherwise good photogs who don't know what they are looking at in dance, to cover the same stuff for which I have or will have pictures). However, I suspect this is really about the effort to glitz up the paper's image (pun un-intended but okay) at lower cost than investigative work, that dance offers a more exciting set of visuals. Sigh.

I also have to wonder at the newspapers use of video on the internet. Because delivery for text as well as pictures and video uses the same digital transfer technology it is easier for a word-based outlet to add visual (still and video) content. The camera that Todd is using is a new (2007) Canon miniDV with native 16:9 format. It runs $4,000 basic. And from the looks of other Star video it is clear they bought a number of these, though they are WAY overkill for mere web usage.

Most any home camera can meet and greatly exceed the resolution needs of the web, even high-bandwidth web as it is today. So, I have to wonder not only about the corporation paying for the desired toys (as requested and "justified" by staff, god knows, given the chance, I would fill out my request form) but also about dual-usage for the video. Perhaps on cable or on the upcoming TV-quality internet-delivery video services. Or perhaps they have some vague plans about producing documentary DVD's similar to the way they now also publish books.

A clue might be in one of the image logo's text " | V TheFifthNetwork " I am assuming "V" (in a circle) stands for video, not the grahic novel/movie "V" where "V" stands for vengeance.

Although if we are talking video production I noted that the $4K camera did not come with the "Jack Pack" (another $3,000) which includes a Genlock port so that you can trigger each frame at the same time in more than one camera either from one of the cameras or from a separate and external signal injector. So they are not thinking there and I suspect that by the time the full plans for this usage show up they may need to upgrade again.

Billie is interviewed by The Wednesday Sun who sent a reporter and a photographer. In the background is Alison Long, KC Star photog.

Jane York is interviewed by the KC Star's video reporter Todd Feeback. The Star sent a videogapher, a photographer and a reporter. Result: Saturday's "local" section one picture (by Alison Long) one cutline and one video story of about a minute or so.



Among the audience were various former members of the 50+ tap group including - and they did a few steps with performing members.

A crossover
This is a short video (1-min 23-sec) showing how well Billie can hit the mark across performances. When I looked at the video after the performance (actually two run throughs: 1) first audience, 2) shorter for additional people who came later) the spotlights with Billie looked very close. So, out of curiosity, I put the second run-through under the first one in the video editor (I use Sony Vegas). They were shot about ten minutes apart with one camera but as you can see here they look almost as if I were shooting with two cameras (rather than the one GL2) focused on the same performance (instead of the two performances).
Click the PLAY BUTTON to play video in this player window (clicking the center of the player opens a new window to YouTube)
If you can't see a video frame above click here:
Here is what you will see:
  1. First performance clip
  2. Second performance clip
  3. Both clips combined image (images overlapping)
  4. Bloth clips combined in slow motion (images overlapping)
  5. Both clips combined again (images overlapping)


Billie's Bio (copied from atdf)

Here is a copy of Billie's bio on the faculty page at Tap City along with a link to the photo. I've added the paragraph breaks.

Billie performing with Gregory Hines

Billie Mahoney Gregory Hines called Billie Mahoney a “legend in tap dance”. Her career began in the late 1950s with her solo tap night-club act and she was one of the few who kept tap dance alive in the New York City studios during the 1960’s and ‘70’s.

During her long performing career she has been featured in Musical Theater with Bob Fosse, and as a single variety act on major television shows including The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show, Jackie Gleason Hour, Caesar’s Hour, to name only a few. Personal appearance tours with Bob Hope included theaters and colleges, and with Lionel Hampton and his Band, the Apollo Theater.

In 2003 she was featured in the twelfth edition of The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies in California. As a teacher she was on the Dance Faculty of The Julliard School for fifteen years, and is invited to teach at Universities throughout the world. Her jazz and tap classes were popular in the Broadway studios for more than twenty-five years.

From 1980-95, she produced and hosted DANCE ON: with Billie Mahoney, “a show about people, people who dance”, on cable TV. The more than 250 half hour television interviews (which included many notable tap dancers) may be viewed in The Dance Collection of the New York Public Library in Lincoln Center.

Back home in Kansas City, she jams as a tap dancer with K.C.’s leading jazz musicians and was inducted into Kansas City’s Elder Statesmen of Jazz which numbers Count Basie among other notable jazz musicians. She continues to teach and is an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The dancers of her “50+” tap classes make up the Billie Mahoney Dance Troupe which she directs and choreographs, and is in demand at various venues.


Links for Billie Mahoney and Dancers on KCDance

Billie Mahoney - November 23, 1927 - January 31, 2022, age 94

Union Station, Nov 19, 2016
Dance On from 2011
National Tap Dance Day 2014
At Union Station for Armed Forces Day 17 May 2014
National Tap Dance Day at The Arts Bar 25 May 2013
Tap Jam at the Arts Bar 7 Feb 2013
Tap Jam at The Arts Bar 2 Aug 2012
Legacy Award from Dancers Over 40 in NYC
Senior Quest 2009
Senior Quest 2008
Billie Mahoney Dance Troupe 2007 preperatory to NYC trip
Tap Dance Day May 25, 2000

Kansas City Dance - KCDance.Com
Photos by Mike Strong, Copyright © 2023 Mike Strong All rights reserved