Hot Shoe Shuffle’s Tap Brothers – Bobby Fox

Over the next few weeks, AussieTheatre will be featuring interviews with all seven of the recently announced Tap Brothers, soon to star in the upcoming 21 Anniversary Production of Hot Shoe Shuffle.

Hot Shoe Shuffle is the tale of the Seven Tap Brothers, Spring, Slap, Buck, Wing, Tip, Tap and Slide who learn of the death of their long-absent father, who has apparently left them a fortune. The only catch is that to receive their inheritance, they must rehearse and perform his legendary ‘Act’ – the Hot Shoe Shuffle!

Today we start with the eldest brother, and leader of the pack, Spring – played by Irish born performer Bobby Fox.

Bobby Fox as Spring in Hot Shoe Shuffle
Bobby Fox as Spring in Hot Shoe Shuffle

What excites you most about leading the cast of Hot Shoe Shuffle?

Being able to tap again professionally really excites me. I have been performing in great shows recently but none of them have required much, if any, tap. And this is a good, old fashioned sweat fest of tap dancing. I am loving how the dexterity and movement is quickly coming back to me, after not having danced in a while. Tap dancing requires a lot from your legs, a

When did you discover your love of tap dancing?

I have been dancing for years, started in Riverdance in 1998 and it was here that I was introduced to tap dancing. There were three male tap dancers who were amazing and made me fall in love with it. There were end of year awards with Riverdance, and I won the award for most annoying habit of tap dancing all the time.

You have enjoyed an incredible career, from dancing in the Irish sensation Riverdanceto leading the Jersey Boys company as Frankie Valli. How does playing Spring in Hot Shoe Shuffle compare to your past successes as a performer?

It would be easy to compare them, but I think those experiences are best combined to create my performance in Hot Shoe Shuffle. Playing Spring in this performance rounds out everything that I have ever done in my life and my career. It is truly a full circle moment and I feel genuinely privileged that I am a part of it. This is an Australian legacy here, history on stage, and to be able to do it with the man is wonderful.

Describe your character – Spring.

Spring is the eldest, and the leader of the pack. He takes on a father figure role and he demands that everyone answers to him, even if they don’t want to or realize that they do, and this leads to much comedy. But he has a big heart, and family comes first to him.

Do you have any pre/post show rituals or superstitions?

Yes, I wear two pairs of underpants. During a performance one time, I realized (too late) that I had forgotten to put on my second pair, and I noticed the difference while I was performing, it was very strange. I also like to be in the theatre early and to try and do a group warm up.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Enjoy yourself. No matter what job you are doing, if you cannot find the joy in it, it is not worth doing

Dancing is a very physically exerting exercise – how do you maintain your health and stamina to make sure you are always at your peak?

I like to run, and do Pilates. I am also a vegan and have just begun 6 weeks with no alcohol.

What is the best thing about the performing arts community in Australia?

People are performers because they can’t and don’t want to do anything else. They love it, and I love that enthusiasm.

Dein Perry and David Atkins (co-choreographers) are legends in the performing arts world – are you looking forward to working with them on this production?

Yes! I cannot tell you how exciting it is. When I first saw Tap Dogs, it blew me away, it was incredible, and now to be performing on stage with the man responsible for that and Hot Shoe Shuffle is incredible.

Bobby Fox began his professional musical theatre career in Australia in 2002, performing in Mamma Mia, Leader of the Pack, Dusty – The Original Pop Diva and We Will Rock You. Bobby is best known for his portrayal of Frankie Valli in the smash hit musical Jersey Boys.

Hot Shoe Shuffle opens at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC on May 4 and will transfer to the Lyric Theatre, Sydney from July 10. 

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Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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