Celebrating Montreal’s Rhythm Tap Queen: Ethel Bruneau


Live on CIUT 89.5 FM

Airing Date: July 26, 2023
Hosted By: Nicole Inica Hamilton

Producer: Nicole Inica Hamilton
Assistant Production Manager/ Editor:  Amber Downie-Back

Featured Guest(s): Ethel Bruneau

On this episode: On July 24, 2023, Montreal’s Rhythm Tap Queen Ethel Bruneau passed away. On today’s broadcast, Turn Out Radio pays tribute to Bruneau’s life with a special re-broadcast of our past interview with the inspirational preacher of tap.  For over 6 decades Bruneau taught, and shared with hundreds of children and adults.  Leaving a beautiful legacy of transmitting, and preaching the art of rhythm tap in classrooms, on stage, and screen.

About Ethel Bruneau

Ethel Bruneau was Montreal’s Rhythm Tap Queen. Born in Harlem, New York, Ethel began dancing at age three at the famed Mary Bruce Starbuds School of Dance. From the first ballet, and tap class, Ethel showed a passion for the performing arts. She appeared on Ken Murray, Spotlight on Harlem, and Carnegie Hall. After accompanying a friend to the Cab Calloway Hell’s a Poppin’ audition she was asked to audition as well. This moment in 1953 would bring Ethel to Montreal where she dedicated her life to transmitting the art of Hoofing, also known as rhythm tap.

For over six decades, Ethel has taught hundreds of children and adults her unique method of tap dancing. Many of her students have become Canada’s greatest hoofers. In Ethel’s (Miss Swing’s) own words, “I am a preacher of tap. I give it to my disciples to go out and spread the gospel of rhythm tap. Tap is glorious. I love tap. I preach the original tradition. Laying down the iron and picking it up. Talking with your feet.”