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5 interesting facts about tap dancing

Tap dance is one of the most rewarding forms of dance for both eyes and ears. The rapid movements of the feet, combined with the rhythmic sounds created by the dancer, are unparalleled in any other form of dance. Tap history is full of interesting facts, including these five:

1. An early form of tap dancing was popular in the early 19th century among African-American slaves. They used dance to keep their history of beats and rhythms passed down from generation to generation. Slaves used their feet because they were not allowed to freely play drums or other African instruments.

2. Before metal taps were used, the dance was performed in wooden clogs over leather shoes.

3. In the 1920s and 1930s, metal faucets became popular. During that same time, African-American dancers expanded the art to become more acrobatic and energetic. Tap dancing at this time expanded from solo performances to often being highly orchestrated teams of dancers.

The Nicholas brothers were two of the most famous dancers to emerge during this period. Their skills wowed audiences and landed them a role in the movie Stormy Weather. The film was one of the first to feature a predominantly African-American cast.

Fred Astaire was quoted as saying that brother Nicholas’s performance in Stormy Weather was the best musical number from a film he had ever seen.

4. In the 1930s and 1940s, tap dance reached a larger audience when it caused a stir in Hollywood. Famous dancers like Fred Astaire and Ray Bolger impressed audiences around the world with their musical feet.

5. In the 1950s, Gene Kelley increased the popularity of tap dancing by combining moves from other dance styles with his tap dancing skills.

the beat goes on

Tap dance remains a popular style of dance practiced and studied throughout the world. The musical sound and fast footwork continue to capture the attention of adults and children around the world. The sound of rush, flap, shuffle, ball change and cramp roll tap dance techniques will continue to live on as one of the best varieties of dance enjoyed anywhere.

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