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Paul Drapper

Stage Name

Birth Name

Paul Draper

Paul Edward Draper Jr.

    Draper laid claim to 'having been the 'worst Tap dancer in History' ( Having as in past tense.) Draper was originally a ditch-digger, then went to college and worked for Arthur Murray, while at Murray's he was fired and re-hired and fired again. Moving on he took Tap from Tommy Nip, learned the 'Time Step' and thus started his career.

    Draper made his solo debut at a London vaudeville theater in 1932 and is credited with his innovation called Ballet-Tap, ( A mixture of tap and Ballet.) Draper would use many different music styles from Classical to Blues in his routines. Draper became so good he had a flash dance routine that would be done on a pedestal-table. He would be known as the 'One Man Flash Act'. Would occasionally perform with Harmonica player Larry Adler on tour.

    Because Draper used Classical music in his acts, the rhythm was not very Swingy thus it was pretty much a flop. However he does get some credit at being innovative. The dancing on Drpaers part was not really bad, just the music didn't make it, however it might have taken off, it just didn't.

    His father (Sr.) was a talented concert singer and his aunt Muriel a noted author and lecturer. Married Helen Vosseler who was a solist of the American Ballet Theater. Draper has appeared in concerts, ballets, nightclubs, vaudeville and movies, in the Europe, U.S. and South America. Draper was also Black listed for a time by the House Un-American Activities Commission for some reason.

Paul Draper Autograph

Birth Place

Birth Date



Florence, Italy 10/25/1909 - 9/20/1996 Helen Vosseler n/a

Dance Types

Dance Partners

Music Titles

Ballet-Tap Larry Adler ( Stage Partner) You Gotta Know How to Dance
Ballroom Nina Ford      
Tap Ruth Draper (Pauls Aunt)      

Night Clubs



Chez-Peree 46th Street Theater Priorities
Persian Room Bijou Theater 1931 - Sensations of 1931
      Orpheum ( L.A.) 1935 - Thumbs Up
      Paramount Theater 1942 - Priorities of 1942
      Playhouse Theater* 1954 - Ruth Draper & Paul Draper
      Radio City Music Hall 1955 - All For One*
      Roxy Theater 1955 - Trouble in Tahiti*
            1955 - Paul Draper*




1936 - Colleen n/a Book - On Tap Dancing (draper)
$ 1948 - Time of Your Life, the [DVD]       Book -Behind Facades (draper)
            Book - Ruby Keeler...(Trump)
          5/13/1944 - Gotham Life Magazine
            Saturday Eve. Post Mag.

  • NOTE: Ruth Draper* unexpectedly died Dec 30, 1956