Of all the fun things you’ve done with your grandfather, performing a tap routine on national television probably isn’t one of them. But one dance team from Reading, Massachusetts is turning heads for just that reason.
The team is 10-year-old Maeve Jones and her 72-year-old grandfather Bill Jones.
What started out as a suggestion from Maeve’s mother turned into a viral YouTube video and an appearance on “Good Morning America.”
When Maeve was getting ready for her summer recital, her mother mentioned that her grandfather had a background in dance.
In fact, dance runs in their family. Even Bill’s mother, Maeve’s great-grandmother, was a dancer.
“(She) was in vaudeville, probably burlesque, and my father danced, and I danced with him when I was 4 years old,” Bill said. “So, she’s like the fifth generation down from my grandmother.”
When Maeve asked him if he would consider doing a dance with her, he agreed right away.
They only had a few weeks to rehearse, so Maeve and Bill immediately got to work. With the help of choreographer Elyse Williamson, they designed a two-person performance to Anna Kendrick’s “Cups.”
“I was actually surprised at how well Bill could tap,” said Williamson. “So, they kept surprising me what they could handle when I gave them choreography.”
Amazingly, Maeve and Bill were only able to rehearse six times before the recital.
But that didn’t stop them from giving it everything they had.”
Then, when the day of the performance arrived, they took to the stage. The dance routine designed by Williamson mimicked the tapping of the cups, a perfect song for a tap routine.
Both grandfather and granddaughter have a natural feel and rhythm for tap dance.
They make moving in synch look easy, even though it’s actually extremely difficult! Chalk it up to them having talent in their blood. Though they didn’t have a lot of time to practice, they made themselves proud and gave the audience a great performance.
And it included one very special surprise by Bill at the very end. As the song’s big finish, Maeve performed a cartwheel. Then, to her shock and delight, her grandfather did the same.
“I decided to do a cartwheel again,” said Bill. “I hadn’t done them in a while. I used to do a bunch of other tricks, but that’s the last trick I have left.”
Maeve loved the surprise trick and couldn’t believe that her grandfather was able to pull the wool over her eyes.
“I was really surprised,” she said. “I had no idea he could do one.”
After the recital, the video of their performance was uploaded to YouTube, where it quickly garnered more than a million views. Then, the dancing duo was invited to appear on “Good Morning America.” There’s no doubt they’re making their family dance legacy proud. They couldn’t be more thrilled with the response.
“There probably aren’t too many tap-dancing grandfathers around,” said Bill. “I was very proud to do it, and I was surprised at the response.”
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