The Nicholas Brothers were a Vaudeville and Hollywood dance/acrobatic act that was prone to bursting into prolonged bouts of awesomeness. If you do nothing else with the rest of your life, watch the final video on this page.
Fayard and Harold Nicholas were raised in 1920's Philadelphia, and grew up watching all the great African-American Vaudeville acts of their time thanks to their musician parents. Early in their youth, they decided to devote their lives to becoming dancing Gods. However, the pair never actually received any formal dance training, which makes what you are about to see completely inexplicable:
As this clip amply proves, the Nicholas brothers are able to retroactively shame any of your childhood accomplishments.
By 1932, when Fayard was 18 and Harold was 13, they were the featured act at the Harlem Cotton Club and well on their way to becoming central figures in the Harlem Renaissance. They were so well known and beloved in the community that they were the only African-American act of their time allowed to mingle with white patrons. That means that, in addition to being world-class entertainers, they were also pioneers in race relations - long before Martin Luther King Jr. or Halle Berry's tits.
From 1940 on, the Nicholas brothers became Hollywood stars, headliners on Broadway, taught at Harvard (WHAT?!), toured Latin America and Europe, and instructed both Janet and Michael Jackson on how to dance like their lives depended on it.
In the following scene, the Nicholases are dancing with Dorothy Dandridge, the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress . Although she is quite talented and bonerrific, the real action starts at around 2:13, when she decides that there's no way in holy hell she'll ever be as good a dancer as either Fayard or Harold, and decides to leave them to it.
The dance number includes some impressive stunts, including a goddamn summersault landing on a split. If Justin Bieber were to attempt this, forensic investigators would find his legs on different zip codes.
Actor Gregory Hines once remarked that if a biopic were to be made of Fayard and Harold Nicholas, their dance numbers would have to be computer-generated, because there is not a person who has ever lived that would be able to imitate them.
They were innovators, teachers and cultural icons, but you know what? Here is the finest bit of their legacy in a nutshell: The greatest dance scene ever to be committed to film. Warning: It has been scientifically proven that people cannot watch the following scene without their faces melting off from its sheer awesomeness [editor here: sumone plese check this fact. woud do it myself, but 2 drunk,nap now . byre]