Chloé and Maud Arnold: Tap Dancers and Entrepreneurs
Chloé and Maud Arnold, graduates of Columbia University, are internationally acclaimed tap dancers, choreographers, producers, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs. But even that does not fully capture the impact that they have made through their passion for dance. The work of these Emmy Award Nominated sisters have taken their reach and impact worldwide to over 30 countries, allowing them to create opportunities to elevate and celebrate the Art of Tap Dancing.
These sisters have won numerous awards and have amassed over 70 million views of their work as founders of the critically acclaimed DC Tap Festival, the renowned female Tap Dance Band, Syncopated Ladies, and their many appearances on shows such as The Ellen Show, Good Morning America, and So You Think You Can Dance. Widely known in the entertainment world as well, Chloé and Maud have garnered praise from celebrities such as Beyoncé, Whoopi Goldberg on The View, Shonda Rhimes, and Janet Jackson for their impact and work.
In addition to all of the above, Chloé and Maud made history as the first African American women to sign a tap shoe deal with BLOCH along with producing the documentary TAP WORLD. Last but certainly not least, the duo successfully focuses their philanthropy through the Chloé & Maud Foundation which ensures that black and brown children have equal access, opportunity, and encouragement in the fields of dance and entrepreneurship. Check out this Year-In-Review to catch a glimpse of the enormous impact that Chloé & Maud had in 2020 alone!
Q: What was the “a-ha” moment when you knew that tap dancing was the way that you were both going to impact this world?
Chloé: “From as early as 9 years old, when I saw the movie tap starring Gregory Hines, that was the a-ha moment of this is what I want to do with my life. It really came full circle when I saw the movie, got to take his class, then see him perform. That combination of feeling something so spiritually connected, artistically inspiring, and feeling the way that Gregory Hines impacted me, made me feel like (A) I wanted to do this for the rest of my life but also (B) I wanted to make people feel the way that he made me feel.”
Maud: “It’s interesting because I think that there are so many a-ha moments because art is transformative. It makes you grow, it makes other people grow, and I feel like I still have a-ha moments now. In 2019 we got to perform at Folsom State Prison for 800 inmates and we got messages from some of the men saying that they felt free as we danced and I said ‘wow this is why we do this’ and it was so reaffirming. That is why I feel like a-ha moments are all along the journey and that is what makes it so amazing and life-changing.”
Chloé: “Yeah I think those are what keeps you going. You have that first a-ha moment but then it’s the perpetual moments that give you the strength to push through and persevere past any obstacles.”
Q: How is it working together as sisters? What are the benefits of being in business with another person that knows almost everything there is to know about each other?
*The sisters smile ear to ear and laugh as they hear this question!*
Maud: “Working as sisters is really fun because you don’t have to do all of the HR appropriateness and you just kind of get to the point! I feel like our goals, our values, and our missions are aligned. We never fight over men or money. We of course debate ideas but we also support each other’s ideas if we want to do other things like venture off on things on our own and stay supportive of each other.”
Chloé: “Yeah I think it’s really remarkable to be able to work with someone where you never have to question their intentions, or who they are, or what they believe in and where we really just have a solid foundation. So all of the exploration is done from such a free and pure lens where there is no hateration…”
Maud: *laughs* “People still say that?!”
Chloé: *laughs* “I had to do that…but yeah where there is just total belief in one another. We have another saying which is ‘faith over fear’ and this idea that whatever you believe in is far stronger than whatever you are afraid of. So when you have a teammate that reminds you of that daily and really wants to see you raise to your greatest self, then it makes the journey way more enjoyable and also very clear. And I think that lends to our happiness so much and one of the things that we are daily grateful for is our joy, happiness, and doing what we love. And we aim to inspire the world to do the same so that we can all show up in our full greatness and full purpose.”
Maud: “And this is not our first business together. We had a scrunchy company…well she had a scrunchy company when I was like 6 and I was her flunky and she just worked me on the sewing machine…” *gives Chloé the side-eye while Chloé maniacally chuckles* “but we’ve always worked together. Our family is really really close and tight-knit and we all believe in the whole team winning. We also have amazing friends who have become like family who we work with and are so thankful to be surrounded by incredibly strong, fearless, and fun people.”
Chloé: “Yes, and so again we are just so thankful on a day to day I think that is the number thing, gratitude, our number one ethic that we share and that is something that the Syncopated Ladies and Chloé and Maud stand for and we are just very very thankful to be alive and living our dreams.
Maud: “Thank you so much to Mint Mag for having us on for Women’s History Month! We are so excited and we are so honored and of course, we love working with Columbia Alum!”
Maud Arnold, known as one of “Tap’s Leading Ladies,” has quickly become a sought-after teacher, judge, and performer worldwide. Mentored and trained by legendary dancer Debbie Allen, Maud has taught at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles, Afro-Funk in Dubai, in Brazil, Japan, Spain, Haiti, United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, Croatia, Ukraine, and Russia. Her impactful teaching parallels her numerous television credits and award-winning choreography.
Chloé Arnold was discovered at a young age in Washington, DC by the legendary dancer Debbie Allen. Chloé’s Emmy Nominated choreography has been featured on countless hit TV shows and high-profile events. She recently was named one of LeBron James’ “The Strongest,” a campaign featured in Essence to celebrate his 16th Nike Sneaker release, was on The Root 100 List, and was featured in Shonda Rhimes and Microsoft’s “Language of Leadership”