Fayard Nicholas

Fayard Nicholas

The Nicholas Brothers were inducted into the International Tap Dance Hall of Fame in 2002 (inaugural class).

Compliments followed them wherever they went. Dancer extraordinaire Fred Astaire once called The Nicholas Brothers' "Jumpin' Jive" dance sequence in the film Stormy Weather (1943) the greatest movie musical number he had ever seen. Famed choreographer George Balanchine called their acrobatic movement ballet, despite their lack of formal training. Tapper Gregory Hines once said that if a film were ever made about the Nicholas Brothers, the dance numbers would have to be computer-generated because nobody could duplicate them. Ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov once called them the most amazing dancers he had ever seen in his life.

Continued to tap dance and spoke frequently at dance festivals around the world until suffering a stroke in November of 2005.

Dancing for nine U.S. presidents throughout the course of their careers, the brothers were awarded Kennedy Center Honors in 1991.

Father of Tony Nicholas.

Fayard's two granddaughters call themselves the Nicholas Sisters and perform the brothers' old steps on the road.

Former brother-in-law of Dorothy Dandridge. His ex-wife, Geraldine Pate, was her best friend.

Known for doing cartwheels landing in full splits.

Older brother of Harold Nicholas; together, they were billed as The Nicholas Brothers. (Click on group name for additional credits).

Self-taught, Fayard learned how to dance watching vaudeville shows while their parents played in the orchestra pit. He then would teach the routines to his younger brother. Fayard was considered the gregarious one of the duo; Harold was more withdrawn and introspective.

Singer and tap dancer.

The brothers broke down racial barriers throughout their career. As child performers at Harlem's Cotton Club they were the only entertainers in the all African-American cast allowed to mingle with patrons.

Won Broadway's 1989 Tony Award as Best Choreographer for "Black and Blue" along with his collaborators Cholly Atkins, Henry LeTang and Frankie Manning.