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You might remember that I danced all throughout my childhood. From age three to 16, I was involved in some combination of ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and lyrical dancing, and at one point, I even considered going professional.
When I was 15, I tried out for my city's professional ballet company, and I got in to their school. But it required a major change in direction from my life's current trajectory, so I was at a fork in my road, and ultimately decided I'd rather do university. So I left dance.
But that didn't mean I stopped loving the craft and the art of the thing, and to this day, I remain an ardent fan of dance. See what I did there? My favorite form of dance was always, always, tap. So, today we're exploring a fun topic you never knew you wanted to know—the history of tap dancing.
Lots of fun video footage included, so if you're reading this via email or reader, click over to read on the site directly.
Early origins Tap dancing has a number of ancestors; most notably Irish step dancing and African dancing particularly something called "juba"both of which were brought over to the United States through immigration and slavery. In the mid 19th century, when vaudeville shows became popular, dancers usually Irish would blackface and dance in imitation of slaves as a form of comedy.
This evolved to a form of stage performance where black performers would imitate the Irish imitation of slave dancing got that? Photo from Wikipedia InThomas Rice added metallic soles to his shoes to add noise to his rhythmic movements, and other minstrel and vaudeville actors immediately followed suit.
Tap dancing spread wildly, and soon became a popular form of comedy. As an aside, tap dancing without the metallic soles is now simply called "soft-shoe dancing.
Jim Crow laws forbade him to be on stage with white performers—with the exception of children, so long as his role was that of a servant. Thus, his most popular gig on the silver screen was of a household servant with child actor Shirley Temple.
As jazz music spread in the s, so did a slight division in styles of tap dancing. The rhythmic complexity of jazz created a style of tap that could be considered a form of music in its own right—called "rhythmic tap.
As tap dancing grew in popularity, competition between speakeasies meant the entertainment bill promised more exciting performances. Thus, tap became more acrobatic and athletic. During the second World War, the public was hungry for light-hearted, feel-good movies, so Hollywood started producing musicals in droves.
A screen performance rather than live called for more lavish sets and acrobatic dancing, so this style of tap dancing became more popular, called "broadway tap.
Tap dancing today Tap dancing's popularity died down in the s and 70s, but its resurgence was reborn in the late 70s and early 80s from several performers, most notably Gregory Hines. And as a personal note, it was him that sparked my interest in tap—especially his movie with Mikhail Baryshnikov, White Nights.
Hines re-popularized the "rhythmic tap" style, shown in this famous scene of the movie: If you haven't seen this movie, do yourself a favor and find it. It's one of my all-time favorites. Lots of cultural insight in to the Cold War of the 80s, plus amazing dancing to boot.
Hines also briefly had a show in the late 80s that added to tap dancing's popularity: The man was a genius. He also taught one of the most popular modern-day tap dancers, Savion Glover, who started as a kid: And now has his own dance troupe: Tap dancing mostly lives in Broadway productions these days, but it can be found in many neighborhood dance studios, popular with young children.
It's a great workout, so if you're looking for something fun, look into adult classes in your area—you might be exhausted, but you won't stop smiling.Welcome to initiativeblog.com, here you will find extensive information about Winnipeg’s social dancing community, and extensive photo gallery of all events I attend.
ethnic dance theatre: preserving & presenting world music & dance as art for over forty years. It is not just the history of UArts; it's the history of arts education, too.
We're proud of our part in the story. The University of the Arts was created from two pioneering, century-old institutions, the Philadelphia College of Art (PCA) and the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts (PCPA). RESOURCES Information on Puerto Rican dance, music, history and culture can sometimes be hard to find here in the States.
Our in-depth research began in and is a continuing effort! Hula Dance Head Quarters - initiativeblog.com If you're interested in learning about the Hula Dance or the art of Hula Dancing, you are in the right place. Third edition has been thoroughly updated so as to reflect the contemporary dance scene and all trends in dance as a performing art and form of education.
In addition, the coverage has been expanded to deal with more advanced topics -- such as the dancer/choreographer as initiativeblog.com