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Tap Dance

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Samantha Youkannis

on 21 January 2015

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Transcript of Tap Dance

Soft Shoe, Buck & Wing, Classical Tap, Rhythm Tap and many more...
History Of Tap
Juba, a kind of dance practiced by African Slaves, was where tap dancing originated from.
Relationship To Other Dance Styles
Tap dance has roots in dancing such as Irish step dancing, English Lancashire clogs, and Juba dance.
Major Tap Contributors
Tap Dance
It continued to alter as it melded with Irish dancing and then encountered the influence of jazz dance.
It has changed from the original form of Irish step dancing to our modern day tap dancing
Tap dance is a form of dance characterized by using the sounds of tap shoes striking the floor as a form of percussion.
The sound is made by shoes that have a metal tap on the ball (of the foot) and heel.
Tap Dance Timeline
1650-1900: From Clog to Soft Shoe
The fusion of British Isles clog and step dancing with the rhythms of West African drumming and dancing in colonial times would result in tap dance, an ever-evolving art form.
Slaves in the southern United States recreated the rapid toe and heel action of the Irish jig and the percussive sensibility of the Lancashire clog and combined them with the West African step dance (Juba), eventually resulting in a uniquely American tap hybrid.
Tap didn't become a stage dance until the arise of minstrel shows in the 1800s. White dancers would blacken there faces and perform their interpretation of African and African American dance and music styles, competing to see who was more "authentic". This continued from 1840 to 1890.
Tap Dance Timeline
1900-1920: The Birth Of Tap
As late as 1902, the term 'tap" came into use. In the 1800s the dance has been referred to as "buck and wing", "buck dancing", or "flat-footed dancing".
With the advance of Vaudeville, traveling black shows and Broadway revues, more opportunities for tap dancers opened up. But racism was still prevalent, and black and white performers usually danced on different theatrical circuits to segregated audiences.
Tap Dance Timeline
1920-1935: The Harlem Renaissance
From 1920-1935 tap was most popular of all the stage dances. Bill Robinson was the best known tap dancer of that era dancing on stage and film. Praised for his clean footwork and for dancing up on his toes with minimal heel taps, his dances were graceful. While his patterns set new standards, his phrasing is still considered the classic structure of tap.
The father of rhythm tap is John W. Bubbles. He slapped his heels against the floor (like a drummer) bringing tap down from the toes. He added a new range of syncopated accents to his rhythmical lines, freeing tap from the classic eight bar phrase.
The most respected tap performers who used flash technique were The Nicholas Brothers. Flash tap refers to spectacular tricks incorporated into tap phrases. Flash and acrobatic tap entails timing each feet precisley so that the rhythms of the dance are uninterrupted.
Tap Dance Timeline
1935-1970:Shuffling Off To Hollywood
Through film some of the finest tap dancing could be seen of Ann Miller, Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers and Hal Leroy. Gene Kelly incorporated movements from modern dance and ballet into his tap dances. America's most famous tap dancer, Fred Astaire, extended the life of tap dancing through his films. Otherwise tap disappeared from the 1950s to the 1970s in the U.S.A.
Tap Dance Timeline
1970-1985: Tap's Rebirth
Luckily, tap experienced a comeback on Broadway in the 1970s and 1980s with shows like 42nd Street (1980) and The Tap Dance Kid (1982). Tap was also being performed in modern-dance halls, gaining new audiences and respectability in the dance world. Tap has always been treated as entertainment, but now it was being considered an art.
Tap Dance Timeline
1985-Present: The Hip-Hop Influence
At the end of the 1980s, inspired by Broadway successes, many young African American male dancers became interested in tap again.
The most famous young hoofer is Savion Glover, who has become the leader of the new generation of rhythm tappers. Sometimes called "power-tapping", this style is distinguished by dense, hard hitting rhythms. His hip-hop funk tap has caused a revolution and brought tap in line with modern music.
Today, tap continues to evolve into a miscellaneous tradition that is both intergenerational and multiracial. Tap is finally receiving its due as a dynamic art form that encompasses a range of individual styles.
Cultural Influences
Many cultural styles of dance influenced the tap dancing that we know today. Some of those influences are from:
Lancashire clogging
(percussive dancing with shoes),
Irish competitive step dance
, and
African dance
Dance Style & Technique
Styles of Tap
Soft Shoe

A graceful, and light dance performed in a smooth, leisurely cadence in soft-soled shoes.

Buck & Wing

A flashy dance combining Irish and British clog, African Rhythm and fast foot work and kicks.
Classical Tap
Also referred to as flash/swing tap, combines tap, ballet, and jazz dance with acrobatics.
Class Acts
during the turn of the 20th century, class acts were more refined. Gymnastics, splits, and flips were rarely performed in this style. The high-speed yet elegant close-to-the-floor style would demonstrate swinging, percussive, complex steps along with a drummer.
Jazz Tap
Tap dance transformed into syncopated jazz rhythms, called jazz tap. Precision, lightness and speed are emphasized, making this one of the fastest tap styles.
It is described as dancing into the floor with emphasis placed on stomps and stamps along with rhythmic percussion's of the sounds, music and syncopation.
Rhythm Tap

Incorporates more percussive heel drops and lower body movements rather than emphasizing toe-taps and upper-body movements.
Musical/Broadway Tap
This style combines Hollywood with traditional forms of tap where its main focus is on the performance along with body formations.
Funk Tap

This surfacing style of tap combines hip-hop with funk to create a contemporary, fun dance form.
Dance Style & Technique
Tap Styles
Dance Style & Technique

For tap techniques and steps, there is no universal terminology. You can make one, two, three or four sounds with different tap steps.
Major Tap Contributors
Notable Tap Dances
Notable Tap Dances
Tap dances relationship to jazz is technique. Technique in jazz has moved to tap dance and is used in tap dance.
Some famous tap choreographers are: Cholly Atkins
Ardie Bryant
Leon Collins
Louis DaPron
Gene Kelly
Some famous tap dancers are:
Fred Astaire
The Nicholas Brothers
Sammy Davis Jr
Bill Robinson
Ann Miller
Notable Tap Shows
Some famous tap musicals are:
42nd Street
Singing In The Rain
Tap Dance
Juba: Tap History
Beginning Tap Dance: Learn The Styles and Aesthetics of Tap Dance
Tap Dance
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