May 25 - National Tap Dance Day

Posted on May 25, 2020

In an earlier post, I mentioned that May 25 - that's today! - is Bill "Bojangles" Robinson's birthday - and he's a super famous tap dancer. 

Which is why this is ALSO National Tap Dance Day.

Tap dancing originated in the United States - mostly within the black community in the U.S. Enslaved black Americans were usually deprived of drums and other percussion instruments that were part of their African traditions, and so a kind of percussive dance was developed. This dance form ended up being influenced by Irish dancing and clog dancing from the British Isles. 

Early tap shoes had wooden soles. Sometimes dancers attached pennies to the heel and toe. These days tap shoes of many different styles have permanently attached metal taps that are quite a bit larger than a penny - but are still located on the heels and toes.

To celebrate Tap Dance Day, check out some different styles:

Rhythm tap by modern great Savion Glover

Rhythm tap by a group

Classical tap - a sort of combination of ballet and tap!

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