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OCU Mourns the Loss of Professor Robert L. Reed

by Rod Jones

Former Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management professor Robert L. Reed died Saturday.

Reed specialized in teaching rhythm tap and was the artist-in-residence of the dance school. He also taught other styles including lyrical, Latin, soft shoe, waltz clog, military, funk and others.

Reed studied under tap master Maceo Anderson, an original member of the Four Step Brothers tap group.

Reed was with Riverdance as dance captain and toured as a principle with Incognito in Europe. Reed was a featured artist at the Peg Leg Bates Resort and toured with Cab Calloway. He has opened for such luminaries as Sammy Davis Jr., Jerry Lewis, Redd Foxx, Cher, the Smothers Brothers and David Hasselhoff.

Reed appears in the critically acclaimed Peg Leg Bates documentary "Dancing with the Peg." He hosted his own television show, "Robert Hall," in Japan, which featured Quentin Tarantino and Brittany Spears as guests.

Reed went on to establish his own school in St. Louis, the Robert L. Reed Tap Heritage Institute. The school hosts the world-class St. Louis Tap Festival each summer. Three of his students formed the St. Louis Hoofers, which reached the semifinals on “Star Search.”

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay declared July 30, 2005, as Robert L. Reed Tap Heritage Day.