Tap Dance: A Uniquely American Dance Form

3422 WordsJan 28, 201814 Pages
Tap dance is an uniquely American dance form. The percussive use of one’s feet combined with the use of rhythms and amplification of sound, has a complex history that involves the intercultural fusions of English, Irish and African musical and dance traditions. The evolution of tap dance in America is further complicated by issues of race, class and gender. Unlike ballet with its formal technique, tap dance emerged from people listening to and watching each other dance, in a variety of settings, where steps were shared, stolen and reinvented. Through its metamorphosis the dance form has progressed from local entertainment, to Vaudeville shows, to Broadway shows, to the Silver Screen and to Concert Halls across the world. The legacy of the art form is characterized by the rise, fall and reemergence of popularity. Savion Glover, a 21st century American dancer, is credited with bringing tap into a new era of popularity as he has wowed the masses with his unique style focusing on African American rhythms. Tap dance, uniquely American in that it is a true melting pot of dance forms, is a dance form rich in rhythms, sounds and amplifications and has transcended social and cultural barriers. Much of the early history of tap is dependent on oral history and contextual awareness. In the 1600s English sugar plantations in the Caribbean were worked by indentured Irish servants and enslaved West Africans. This forced fusion of two cultures resulted in a blend of music, dance and

More about Tap Dance: A Uniquely American Dance Form

Open Document