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Tap Dancing in the 1920s

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Adreana Dziadosz

on 30 March 2015

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Transcript of Tap Dancing in the 1920s

Tap Dancing in the 1920s
1920s Tap Routine
Tap Before the 1920s
In the 1800s, American tap began as a secret language between African slaves
- African drumbeats were translated into a series of taps and shuffles
As it progressed, the method of communication turned into dance
Performers were known as Levee Dancers in the southern states of America
Their style became known as Shuffle Dance
Shim Sham Tutorial
Tap in the 1920s
Tap emerged in the 1920s as the most rhythmically challenging form of jazz
1920s Tap dancing was different from prior forms of tap because it matched the speed of the jazz music and often doubled it
Hundreds of new tap steps were added during this time, however many of them went nameless because they were often improvised
African American Tap soloists were the most common tap performers during the 1920s
Female flappers were common performers as well
What 1920s Tap Dancers Wore
Tap shoes with wooden soles because the metal taps did not come out until the 1930s
The shoes looked slightly awkward
Girls wore a flapper style of clothing
Often included a headband and a short dress of some sort, many skirts had feathers
Men wore suits
Some of the suits were striped or had some sort of interesting design
A common prop used were feather plumes
Typical Costume
tassels were very commonly used
both dark and light costumes
some costumes had feathers and sparkles
big flowers were also commonly sewn to costumes
How the 1920s Left the Tap World
As tap matured, lots of different new styles were added
Tap also started to become added into popular movies and major stars in the 30s learned how to tap dance culture into to tap dancing
Different countries each added there own culture into tap dancing
For example Celtic tap dancing became popular in the 90s and was tap combined with Irish culture
Now Celtic tap is still very popular and there are many famous Celtic shows such as "Lord of Dance" and "Celtic Tiger" which my studio has its own version of
The Shim Sham
The Importance of Charm
Performances were not judged very technically
Charm and stage presence was much more important than crisp sounds or technique
Recreation of Routine
Shim Sham Demonstration
Hill, Constance Valis. Tap Dancing America a Cultural History. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

The shim sham was a tap variation done by Vaudeville performers
It was created in the 1920s and continued through by 1930s became well known
Willie Bryant and Leonard Reed are credited with creating this combination
This tap step is still done today, often as a warm up for dancers
Sometimes even small pieces of it are added into performance routines
Full transcript