Slyde, known for his smooth dancing moves and engaging personality, died Friday at his home following a period of declining health, Pete Peterson -- a retired drummer and longtime friend of Slyde -- told The New York Times.
Historian Jane Goldberg, who studied with Slyde during the 1980s, said his rhythm tap abilities and impeccable timing were second to none.
"His timing was impeccable," she told the Times. "He was a real purist."
Decades later, he brought his tap-dancing skills to the big screen with roles in the films "Tap," "Round Midnight" and "The Cotton Club."
Slyde is survived by his wife, Donna, and his son, Daryl.