What is Tap Dancing?
Tap dancing is an intricate, unique style of dance that uses metal “taps” on the bottom of the dancer’s shoes to create sounds that correspond to the music or a certain rhythm. Tap dancers use their feet as a percussive instrument and in some cases tap dancing is in fact considered a form of music. Even though most people immediately think “Broadway” when they think of tap dancing, the second major variation of the style is “rhythm” tap. This style of tap focuses more on musicality and originated from the Jazz tradition.
Another name for rhythm tap dancers are “Hoofers,” implying that they dance closer to the ground. The most famous hoofer still alive and dancing today is Savion Glover who played a major role in the dance animation and choreography of the film “Happy Feet.” On the other hand, Fred Astaire helped bring tap to a more “showy” Broadway style with big arm movements and entertaining choreography fit for the theater.