Dee McHarris (right), Photo: Jane Levine

Delores and Dave McHarris

Delores McHarris was born and raised in Philadelphia. She was drawn to tap dancing by her desire to travel and share a performing life with her husband, veteran hoofer Dave McHarris. Dee started training under her husband's tutelage in the 1940s, and made her first public performance after a year of working "day and night" to hone her technique. Later, she studied intensively with ballet master, and with drummer Cozy Cole. Dave McHarris grew up in Pittsburgh and was dancing by the time he was three. As a child, he used to sneak out of school to see road shows coming into town. He ran away from home when he was 15 to join a tour of "Brown Skinned Models." Since then, he has danced his way around the world. McHarris and Delores performed as a team in theaters and nightclubs throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. They played the London Palladium and performed at New York's Palace Theater every two months. The duo had many-sided talents: they did stage shows, musicals, and developed their own music and dance revue. McHarris and Delores came to be known for their polished technique as well as their versatility and elaborate costuming. The duo performed in PFP's "Stepping in Time" performance in 1994.