Charles “Honi” Coles

Hiding in plain sight as Tito Suarez in the film Dirty Dancing, Charles “Honi” Coles was a brilliant and innovative tap dancer.

He met  Charles “Cholly” Atkins 1940 with whom he partered for 19 years. According to Wikipedia, “Coles placed tap in the world of concert art when he performed in the Joffrey Ballet‘s production of Agnes de Mille‘s Conversations about the Dance.

Coles made his Broadway debut in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1949. He also appeared in Bubbling Brown Sugar and My One and Only, for which he received both the Tony and Drama Desk Award for his performance.”

But two things stick out for me. One: Coles taught dance and dance history at YaleCornellDuke, and George Washington University in the 1980s

And two, short of Dirty Dancing, I had no knowledge of Coles. Time to rectify that.

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