The History of Tap Dance

Tap dance, a huge art form in America, has become a very popular search topic on Google recently. We love Tap dance, and wanted to guide you through the story of how this style of dance came about.

What Is Tap Dance?

First of all, tap dance is unique because it consists of a specific dance shoe assembled with leather and heel/toe taps that create a sharp clacking noise when met with a hard surface. Every angle of the heel/toe on the shoe makes a different sound.

Tap originated in the United States but was highly influenced by Irish and African culture. In crowded urban environments, ethnic groups of all kinds were living in close proximity and constantly learning from one another. They quickly picked up each other’s forms of dance alongside the rhythms of the city. Tap dance brings to mind the classic 1930’s Broadway musicals and the beloved Shirley Temple. Tap heavily influenced and evolved into other dancing styles during the 1930s-1950s such as the Lindy Hop and different styles of jazz dance.

Tap dancing is a great skill to have as it teaches rhythm and balance. It can be done solo or in a group dance. The style of tap is typically fast-paced with steady foot movements to create the satisfying tap sound we all know. The footwork of tap has to sync with the rhythm of the music, which incorporates the beat of the song and fills the room with energy. In tap dancing, you truly become part of the music. 

If you ever pay attention to a tap dancer, they usually have big smiles on their faces. Former tap dancer Samantha Douge says, “You really just can’t help but smile during a tap dance.”

Know a dancer interested in trying out Tap dance? Let us know and we will happily provide you with more information on our dance classes here at Suzanne’s.