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Culture & Entertainment

In Conversation With: Chloe and Maud Arnold, International Tap Dance Duo

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Internationally recognized tap dancers and graduates of Columbia University, Emmy Award Nominated sisters Chloé and Maud Arnold are a choreographing and producing duo. Their work has taken them worldwide to over 30 countries, allowing them to create opportunities to elevate and celebrate the Art of Tap Dancing through Film, TV, and live events.

The duo made several appearances on The Ellen Show, Good Morning America, and So You Think You Can Dance, and have received praise from Beyoncé, Whoopi Goldberg on The View, Shonda Rhimes, Janet Jackson, as well as many other celebrities and news outlets around the world.

Meet Chloe & Maud:

Where were you born and which twin is older? Are you identical or fraternal twins?

We aren’t twins! People think that all the time, but, I, Chloe am 6 years older than Maud 🙂

What led to your love and desire to become dancers? How long have you been dancing?

We were introduced to dance b/c our mother used to dance and wanted to share that joy with us. I started at 6 years old and Maud would come and observe. She started years later at 7 years old.  We fell in love with Tap when the movie Tap came out. Gregory Hines’ performance was so inspiring that it lived in our hearts, and a year after the movie, Gregory Hines came to DC and performed and taught a class.  I was able to attend, and that was the pivotal moment that made us want to become tap dancers.  Debbie Allen also came to DC to give back, and Chloe auditioned to be in her play at the Kennedy Center.  It was then that Debbie Allen took us under her wing when I was 16 and Maud 10, to expand our love for all styles of dance, and musical theater.  

Did you both decide on this passion at the same time or one before the other?

Because Maud was so much younger, she was exposed to the art form very organically, and would attend Chloe’s rehearsals and classes, and learn from the older kids.     

In your opinion, what is one misconception about dancers?

That dancers are back up or background.  We see dancers as the main attraction. The headliners. 

You both graduated from Columbia University. Did you get your acceptance letter at the same time and did you room together while in college? 

I was accepted first, as Maud was still in High school, but she got the college experience in all of her visits, so she was ready for her turn.  I applied to Harvard, Princeton, Yale, all of the ivy leagues and got into them all. I chose Columbia because I wanted to dance in NYC, and I was lucky that my mom was open to me turning down Harvard to attend Columbia so that I could further my passion and training in dance.  Maud applied early decision to Columbia because she was already sold on the school and the city from my experience.  We both lived on campus for the first 3 years respectively, and then in Washington Heights.  Our college experience challenged us to level up in new ways that have proven invaluable in our careers.

What is one thing one of you are interested in, but the other is not?

I love interior design, and Maud has no interest. Maud loves doing stand up comedy, and I will never do that! LOL

What was it like to be mentored by the one and only Debbie Allen?

She’s the greatest!!! She saved our lives. She welcomed us into her home to live so that we could get top training at her Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Her lessons went far beyond the dance floor. She challenged us to expand our education to Film: Directing, producing, writing, and to dance with no limits.  She taught us about life, about navigating all obstacles, believing in ourselves against the odds, fighting for justice, creating an opportunity for others, and to appreciate and share the gift of dance.

What advice would you give to a mother whose child demonstrates a desire to dance? What if finances are an issue, what resources can you provide them with? 

Expose your child to dance, and all styles, so that they can communicate with the many languages of dance. Put them in a program where they feel loved, lifted, and challenged.  If money is an issue, seek scholarships. Our foundation provides scholarships for our many programs. You can email chloeandmaudfoundation@gmail.com to apply for a scholarship to support the program.

You two have appeared on tv shows,  won awards,  both are beautiful, super-intelligent, and uber-creative, what’s next for you two? 

This Global Pandemic challenged us to expand our online programming. We’ve held 3 online events, attracting 3000 students worldwide from 53 countries and 43 states.  We plan to expand our online Dance Empowerment program. We are also working to sell our TV shows and movies.  We have a 30 city tour now postponed to 2021 but will be developing content for that. And always, we aim to continue to expand our work with our non-profit:  The Chloe and Maud foundation.

What have you both been doing during this global shift to nurture yourself with self-love and self-care, to stay afloat mentally and physically that is a nécessité?

Our nécessités: Workout, Dance, Calm breathing, eating healthy. We have a daily workout routine with our brother Tadeo Arnold, and his cuerpaso program.  You all are welcome to join (cuerpaso.com). We also both have adopted calm breathing methods.  Lots of aromatherapy and baths, and course dancing, creating new works, performing even if on zoom.

 Photographer credit: Lee Gumbs Photography

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