Chloe and Maud Arnold: Sisters with Rhythm and Shoe
This sister act helped pioneer a tap dancing renaissance, tapping their way to success and stardom.
As children, Chloe and Maud Arnold were usually heard before they were seen. In unison they count “Five. Six. Seven. Eight.” followed by the pitter patter of their fancy footwork — it became their calling card. They danced virtually everywhere they went. Their passion and aptitude for dance was plain to see, especially in tap.
Their parents supported the “fierce footwork” of their daughters, and encouraged each hip sway, jazz kick, and paradiddle. Those tap dancing girls became tap dancing divas, grabbing the attention of mega-stars like Beyonce, Ellen Degeneres, and world-renowned dancer, Debbie Allen. The attention isn’t unwarranted, these dancing sisters are raising the bar on what it means to dance out loud.
Mentored by a Legend
Eventually, the sisters tapped their way into the graces of dance legend, Debbie Allen, who mentored the girls and their talents, ensuring that they were ready for success early on. At the age of 16, Chloe was cast in Allen’s play, the Brothers of the Knight at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. — the same stage where greats like Gregory Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov performed on. Like always, Maud, who is six years younger than Chloe, supported her sister, learning from each and every shuffle.
College was an important part of Chloe and Maud’s dance journey. They both studied Theater and Dance at Columbia University, turning down offers from elite institutions like Harvard University in order to dance to their own beats in New York City. They made the right choice, New York was and still is the epicenter of dance, fashion, and business. The attributes that drew the sisters to New York are now a part of their brand, as they oversee Chloe & Maud Productions and its many ventures, including the UniLOVE unitard collection.
Two Sisters, One Dream
Today, Chloe is an Emmy nominated choreographer, actress, and director. Maud is close on her heels with credits including BET, The Late Late Show with James Corden, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, and many others. The sisters are well versed in virtually any style of dance from modern to salsa, but they are known as pioneers in a modern day tap renaissance. Their combination of contemporary songs, beats, movements, and fashions, make them a truly iconic duo, taking them to over 30 countries.
“I absolutely love the sound and energy of tap. Your body is both an expression of the music and the sound you make turns you into an instrument too,” Chloe says. Maud believes in keeping the choreography hip and current. “Dance is something that can connect so many people. It’s important for the people watching us dance to truly feel our movements.”
Reveling in Stardom
Chloe and Maud have impressive lists of solo dance credits, but they love to work as a team. Together, they formed the all-female tap dance band, Syncopated Ladies, which has garnered worldwide attention. They have performed all over globe, and their videos have accumulated over 50 million views on YouTube. Recently, they were on the first dance battle of the popular television show, So You Think You Can Dance.
Their moves have taken them far and millions have enjoyed their performances. Beyonce, a multi-million dollar recording artist and dancer, saw one of Chloe and Maud’s videos, and shared it with her more than 125 million followers on all her social media outlets. Chloe, Maud, and the rest of the Syncopated Ladies became an immediate international success as the video went viral. Take a look at the video that launched them to stardom…
Throughout their successful careers, Chloe and Maud have continued to dedicate time and energy into training and mentoring other young dancers. They feel that everyone, particularly women, have a hidden well of strength. Their philanthropy is in their soles, they say. They are the founders of Sole Talk, a tap company for kids in Los Angeles. The goal of the company is to build self-esteem, networking, entrepreneurship skills, and creative development in a safe atmosphere.
As Maud says, “I wouldn’t be here today without the support of my family. Children are very sensitive to the messages they receive in the home. Not everyone grows up with parents like ours. I try to be that voice that tells them they can succeed. That they are smart and worthy and can do just about anything they set their minds to.”
In addition to their youth tap company, they are the first black women to partner with a major tap shoe company. This groundbreaking move has allowed them to offer the sometimes expensive tap materials to people of all income levels. While traditional high-quality tap shoes may cost close to $300, Chloe and Maud’s are intently designed to be only a fraction of that. “We want to make sure everyone can succeed at their dreams and compete in the big leagues,” Chloe says.
As for the sisters, they will continue to grow, dance, and create choreography to the beat of their own drum. Watch more videos and learn more about this amazing sister duo at www.chloeandmaud.com and www.syncopatedladies.com.