[MUSIC] Being a tap dancer was really amazing. For us it's been that we can pave our own path. One of our favorite people, idols, Beyonce shared Our music video that we created to one of her songs as an ode to her, thanking her, cuz we had worked with her in the past. She shared it on her Facebook, which was the ultimate stamp of approval, saying they killed it. That then sent our video viral, we then got to appear on So You Think You Can Dance And then we won the first crew battle that they ever had. From there, Mod organized and arranged a world tour and we're just so excited to bring Syncopated Ladies and Cloe and Maude Productions to the world. [MUSIC] Chloe is my older sister. She is the greatest, she's like my other half, she's the yin, I'm the yang. She probably the smartest people I know. And she's one of those people who's like, I'm gonna learn how to do Photoshop. She sat up all night for two nights, and now she makes all the fliers for our businesses, cuz she self taught Photoshop to herself. She basically One of the most ambitious and relentless people I've ever met in my life. And she gets on my nerves sometimes cuz she tries to be bossy even though I'm grown. I feel like Mod is maybe the person that knows me the best, the best teammate I could ever have, so when I Think about like all of the insane challenges that we've had along the way. I have to, really fight a lot of battles that I could have felt alone on and I have my little sister that was like no were gonna, were gonna talked this out. When anybody presents doubt modest to positive fuel behind everything that says no we can do it, we can do it [MUSIC] So the best advice Maude has ever given me has been to relax, because I'm the big sister. She's uptight. And we grew up poor, and so I had such a responsibility to make sure that she was safe. I was just working to create a future for us, and so I knew that that would come through Hard work, education, and building our skills. So along the years, she's done an amazing job of just shaking me up and saying relax, relax, Chloe. And that's helped my life and my artistry. I would say. By the way, I had a job when I was seven years old so don't think I was just lollygagging in the streets. I was sweeping hair at the barbershop That, when I was four, remember you guys taught me the word procrastinate. You guys, you and Mommy were like, you're a procrastinator, cuz I didn't want to go to sleep. And y'all made me look it up in the encyclopedia. And I will never forget that. It's like, don't procrastinate, don't put things off, do it now. [MUSIC] The greatest challenge is you like [UNKNOWN] and dreams is that People scrutinize and judge and try to tear you down along the way. That's what's amazing about sisterhood is that we're here to keep lifting each other up. So when you have those moments of doubt there's the other that's like no, we can do it. And we're going to knock it out. [SOUND]
Tap dancing is life for Chloe and Maud Arnold. For these sisters who have been tap dancing since they were kids, the art form has provided them with a career and a way to sustain the practice created by Black Americans.
The duo —taught and mentored by Debbie Allen— has gained in popularity with the formation of their troupe, Syncopated Ladies. And off the heels of a sold-out show in Los Angeles, with Allen and Shonda Rhimes sitting in the audience, the Arnold sisters are hoping that it is a sign of things to come.
“For women of tap it’s a sign of women empowerment, to tell stories, and create a whole new movement around the art of tap dancing,” explained Chloe.
Enter Queen Bey.
When Beyoncé caught wind of their tap-dancing video to her hit song “Formation,” she posted it on her website. Soon after they became a viral sensation with millions of views.
The sisters are now hoping that they can continue to draw attention to the fact that tap dancing is still a lit art form, for women of color.
“This art form has always been male dominated. We grew up always wanting and dreaming of becoming tap dancers but not seeing the representation,” explained Chloe. “So for us, it has become our dream, our passion, and our vision to change the way that people see tap dance for women.”
She added what makes their approach different is how they treat the tap dancer as a featured vocalist. “We are creating rhythm, syncopation, and through that our body movements is reflective of the uniqueness of the style of the rhythm.”
The sisters have tap danced their way into the newest GAP ad campaign. “We are extremely grateful [that] we got to do what we do, and that’s represent tap dance in the campaign,” said Maud.
In the GAP commercial, their footwork is accentuated by their own tap dance Chloe and Maud shoe, sold through Bloch. “It’s very sleek. We are very excited to be African-American women in with a major dance brand,” explained Maud. The $95 shoe launches in September.
What’s next for the Syncopated Ladies? They will continue tapping their way across stages, but they are also hoping to fill a void. “There are so many young girls that are training in tap dance. A lot of girls are giving up on their dreams because they don’t see an outlet for them to work and share their art. We are trying to fill that gap so they can express themselves and pursue their dreams. We want to celebrate women in this art form,” said Chloe.
For more information check out their website.