Tap dance

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Tap dance is a form of dance characterized by a tapping sound that is created from metal plates attached to both the ball and heel of the dancer's shoe. These metal plates, when tapped against a suitable surface, create a percussive sound and as such tap dance is both a form of dance as well as the act of playing a musical instrument.

Contents

History

The influences of tap dancing may include:[1]

  • African
    • Juba dancing, a very quick and competitive dance involving intricate foot work, stomping, hand clapping and slapping and patting parts of the body.
    • Predating tap, there seems to be no historical evidence of percussive (on the heel and toe) dance footwear in this culture.
  • English
    • Lancashire clogging, a dance using percussive shoes.
    • Early english "tappers" nailed or tacked copper pennies to the undersides of their shoes to create a light clicking sound, the triangular configuration used by these early dancers was the original inspiration for "three-screw" tap shoes - now the most commonly available tap shoe in Dance Stores.
  • Irish
  • Spanish

During the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, the best tap dancers moved from Vaudeville to cinema and television. Steve Condos, with his innovative style of percussion tap, created a whole new tap style that he introduced to audiences in Vaudeville, and later to the audiences of film and Broadway. Prominent tap dancers of this period included Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Eleanor Powell, Shirley Temple, John W. Bubbles, Charles "Honi" Coles, Vera-Ellen, Ruby Keeler, Gene Kelly, Ann Miller, Jeni LeGon,[2] Fayard and Harold Nicholas of the Nicholas Brothers, The Clark Brothers, Donald O'Connor, Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable, Prince Spencer,[3] Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, and Jimmy Slyde.

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