Tap Dancing for Beginners


Learn how to tap dance, including the basic steps and moves, shuffles and heel and toe footwork in this free series of video dance lessons.

Series Summary

The rhythmic foot stomping we call tap dancing emerged in the 1830’s from a blend of cultures in Manhattan’s original melting pot, the Five Points neighborhood (recently depicted in Scorsese’s film Gangs of New York.) Essentially a blend of African shuffle and Irish jig, tap dance became extremely popular in the first half of the 20th century. The metal plates attached to the bottom of the dancer’s shoes create a percussive rhythm which could either accompany music, or be used as an instrument itself. This popular form of entertainment soon found its way from amateur street performances, to Vaudeville, Broadway, and eventually film and television, where millions were inspired by the moves of Sammy Davis, Jr., Gregory Hines, Fred Astaire, and Gene Kelly. A recent resurgence of tap enthusiasm came in the 90’s with the infusion of new dancers, such as Savion Glover, who began to incorporate a more personal style into their performances, and essentially made tap dancing “cool” again. In this free video dance class, learn how to tap dance as an absolute beginner. An experienced tap dancer will walk you through the most basic steps you need to know to get started. Lessons include steps like the shuffle move and the ball change, as well as basic toe techniques, tap dancing postures, and a practice routine.

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