Harriet “Quicksand” Brown – HAPPY BIRTHDAY
To all dancers, dance enthusiasts and tap dancers, join us in celebrating today 08/07/1932 the Birthday of Harriet “Quicksand” Browne. “Quicksand” was her nickname from her style of tap dancing on sand that created a sound like brushes on a snare drum. “That’s the sound of jazz,” she said.
Harriet began dancing at the young age of three. She and her sister Marquita formed a child act in Chicago, the “Jordan Sisters”, continuing until Marquita got married and Harriet went solo. Harriet had shared bills with jazz greats such as Cab Calloway and Billie Holiday, also appearing with such artists as Flip Wilson, Betty Carter, Dinah Washington, Della Reese, and T-Bone Walker. She danced at the Savannah Club in the chorus line called the “Savannah Peaches”. She performed at Carnegie Hall, and with such talent as Gregory Hines & Bunny Briggs, In the early ’90s, she formed the Aristaccato Tap Company, and as the younger member at age 64, danced with the “Silver Belles”, a company of one-time chorus line dancers.
She received a choreographer’s fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a proclamation from Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, calling her an “ambassador of the art of tap.” Honoring the Lives and Work of Harlem’s Great Dancing Ladies by the International Women In Jazz, she was the recipient of that honor on 4/20/97 with Norma Miller & Marion Coles.