What is Tap Dancing?
Tap dancing is a rhythm-focused dance style characterized by using the sound of tap shoes striking the floor. It combines elements of African tribal dances and Irish jigs, evolving into its modern form in America.
Tap Shoes Engineering
The essential element of tap dancing is the shoe itself, fitted with metal plates on the heel and toe. These plates, called taps, create the distinctive sound and are carefully designed for different tone qualities.
Famous Tap Dancers
Legendary figures like Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson, Fred Astaire, and Gregory Hines transformed tap. They brought tap to broad audiences through film and stage, showcasing the dance's versatility and emotional range.
Tap's Improvisational Nature
Tap dance is often improvised, like jazz music, which it's closely related to. Dancers 'play' their tap shoes like musical instruments, allowing them to interact with musicians and create spontaneous performances.
Different Styles of Tap
There are two main styles: Rhythm (Jazz) tap focuses on musicality, while Broadway tap involves more dance and movement. Both require a deep understanding of rhythm and timing.
Influence on Popular Culture
Tap has influenced various forms of entertainment, from Hollywood musicals to contemporary dance. Michael Jackson's iconic moonwalk was inspired by tap steps, illustrating tap's ongoing cultural impact.
Learning to Tap Dance
Anyone can learn to tap dance. It enhances coordination, rhythm, and musicality. Classes range from beginner to advanced, with progress measured in one's ability to communicate complex rhythms.