Tap Dancing Essay

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Tap dancing has helped shape our culture due to a multitude of factors. There are many different styles of tap dancing from moves to the music you dance to to the way you dance. “Tappers” as they are called, utilize slides, spins, jumps, and other moves in order to add character and excitement into their performance. Tap dancing is a performance in which incorporates multifaceted areas in which one needs to become good at. Each tap dancer can express themselves in quite a unique way. Overall tap dancing is a form of dance that is characterized by using the sound of one's tap shoes hitting the floor as an instrument – going along with a beat or tapping without music. In a sense it is a form of music, with beats and rhythms. There are two types of tap dancing – rhythm or Jazz tap dancing and Broadway tap dancing. Rhythm tap emphasizes the musical aspect of it, they feel that they are part of the Jazz music scene. Broadway tap dancing is more so on the dancing aspect of tap. It is usually incorporated in a musical theatre or other types of performance. The history of tap dancing stems from African American origins. Former dancing such as Juda Dance, English Clog Dancing, and Irish Step Dancing were similar forms of dancing. In the mid 19th century performers of minstrel shows would satirize African Americans for their styles of dancing. To get revenge, Southern African Americans rebelled and had actually do the same thing to the Irish – but this combined the two styles of dancing. People such as William Henry Lane became one of the first people to join a primarily white “minstrel troupe”. This is significant because it was considered to be the preceding point of tap dancing. Eventually tap dancing began to take off and became very popular. Unfortunately at the time there was something called the two-colored rule – which did not allow blacks to perform

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