National Tap Dance Day

Tap dancing is a type of dancing that goes back all the way to the 19th century and is considered to be one of America’s original dance art forms. This dance developed due to African and Irish influences and eventually became a type of percussive dance that incorporated a variety of complex rhythmic step movements and combinations. It’s also a dance that’s so beloved that it has earned its own holiday, a holiday that falls on May 25th and is appropriately named National Tap Dance Day. 

The History Of National Tap Dance Day

National Tap Dance Day was signed into law by U.S President George H.W Bush on November 8, 1989. The first time it was officially observed was on May 25, 1989. This day was chosen because it’s the birthday of Bill Bojangles Robinson, one of the most significant contributors to the art of tap dancing. 

Facts About Tap Dancing

Over the course of our extensive research for this holiday, we’ve come across some amazing facts about tap dancing that is going to fascinate anyone who takes the time to read them. 

  • Tap dancing is a blend of Scottish, Irish, and West African step dances. 
  • Tap shoes were invented during the 1920s. 
  • Before tap shoes were formally invented, tap dancers would often attach pennies to their shoes.
  • The screws on tap shoes can be loosened or tightened to create a lighter or a deeper tone. 
  • Soft shoe dancing is tap dancing that’s performed without taps.
  • Tap shoes can actually be considered a type of musical instrument.
  • African American slaves would use the soles of their feet to tap dance before taps were invented.
  • Some of the different styles of tap include classical, rhythm, Broadway, funk, and jazz.

Observing National Tap Dance Day

National Tap Dance Day can be celebrated by tap-dancing or sharing your favorite tap-dancing experiences with the Internet using #NationalTapDanceDay. You can also enjoy the day by watching some tap dancing movies such as Tap, Born To Dance, Swing Time, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Broadway Melody of 1938, Singing In The Rain, or Shall We Dance. 

When is it?
This year (2023)
May 25 Thursday
Next year (2024)
May 25 Saturday
Last year (2022)
May 25 Wednesday
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