It is believed that tap dance began in the 1850’s during American Minstrel Shows where clogging, Irish Step dancing, and other rhythmic dance forms fed off each other to create a soft-shoe tap style. Metal taps on shoes became popular in the 1920’s, when they appeared on the shoes of Broadway chorus-line dancers. Tap continued to evolve in various ways, the most well-known being Broadway tap as danced by Fred Astaire, Gower Champion, and Eleanor Powell; and Rhythm tap, best represented by the dancing of Jimmy Slyde, Charles ‘Honi’ Coles, and Gregory Hines. Both forms of tap are taught at the school and at Steps on Broadway.
Tap is excellent cardio exercise and great stimulation for the mind. Transforming a dancer’s feet into a musical instrument, tap shoes allow young children to make noise and express their individual rhythms. Tap dance also helps the mind and body understand rhythm and musicality.These skills help develop the mind both inside and outside the dance studio.
Food for Thought:
- Broccoli: Vitamin K – Enhances cognitive function
- Nuts/Seeds/Whole grains: Vitamin E – Increases memory
- Blueberries: Anti-oxidants – Help fight Dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Wild-Deepwater Fish: Omega 3 – Essential for brain function
Did you know?
- The study of sound is known as acoustics.
- National Tap Day is May 25.
- Gregory Hines taught at Steps on Broadway in the 1980’s.
- Shirley Temple (age 6) broke racial barriers when she tap danced with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson (age 57) in the famous ‘stair dance’ in the film, The Little Colonel (1935).