Dance Tap

One of the few dance forms in which hearing the dance is as important as seeing it! The dancers create rhythms, or patterns of beats, using metal taps under the toe and heel.
Tap was born in the USA and is the direct result of a fusion of cultures.  Plantation slaves were forbidden to use drums, beat out rhythms with their feet, hand or bones, but the Plantation Masters introduced clogs, jigs and reels from their homelands.
The slaves picked up the steps, interpretting them with a much 'looser' style and combined them with their own rhythms.
Irish jigs, English clog dancing and Scottish Reels combined with African rythms into a variety of styles and continued to develop, arriving in the theatres as a 'Minstrel' form in the 1800s.
This exciting form of dance develope through Vaudeville and still exists today as a popular dance form.
Some of the most famous tap dancers from the 1900s include Bo Jangles, the Nicholas Brothers and of course Fred Astaire, with Gregory Hines and Savion Glover having come to fame in more recent years.
A good sense of musicality and rhythm are esssential for a good tap dancer - it's not just about making a noise, but it's a fun way to keep fit!

Some Well Known Terms:
Time Step
Pick Up
Heel Beat
Wood Gillian,
Apr 5, 2009, 6:48 PM