Coles and Atkins act were unlike other acts of the time in that they didn't do splits or acrobatics even though Cholly had several tricks up his sleeve. As a duo, they concentrated on routines in unison with cool poses. They had a reputation for grace and style that had audiences around the world showing there appreciation by giving them standing ovations. Coles and Atkins were the quintessential "Class Act," setting the standard for elegance in the world of tap dance.
Their most outstanding number was their "Slow Soft Shoe." What set their dance apart from others was the seemingly perilous slowness of it. Each step was executed in graceful symmetry that was absolutely breathtaking. Never before had such precision and style been brought to this tempo of soft shoe, and the Coles & Atkins "Slow Soft Shoe" became a favorite world-wide.
Before Honi Coles teamed up with Cholly Atkins, Honi was a well established tap dancer, who after a rough start in a few duo's and trio's decided to practise diligently for years until he felt that he was ready to perform again and came back as one of the fastest tap dancers of the time. His first NYC debut was with The Three Millers. In 1934 he performed in NYC as "Honi" and soon earned the reputation of having the fastest feet in the business.
Charles “Cholly” Atkins was an American dancer and vaudeville performer, who later became noted as the house choreographer for the various artists on the Motown label. He was born Charles Sylvan Atkinson, a native of Pratt City, Alabama, and first found fame as one-half of a top vaudeville tap dancing act with partner "Honi" Coles. In 1989, Cholly received a Tony Award for choreographing the Broadway show "Black and Blue".