National Tap Dance Day

Tap dancing is a type of dance that dates back to the 19th century and is considered one of America’s original dance art forms. This dance evolved from African and Irish influences and eventually became a percussive dance that includes a variety of complex rhythmic steps and combinations. It is so beloved that it has its own holiday, which falls on May 25th and is aptly 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. It was first officially observed on May 25, 1989. This date was selected because it is the birthday of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, one of the most significant contributors to the art of tap dancing.

Facts About Tap Dancing

During our extensive research on this holiday, we’ve uncovered some fascinating facts about tap dancing that will captivate anyone who reads them:

  • Tap dancing is a fusion of Scottish, Irish, and West African step dances.
  • Tap shoes were invented in the 1920s.
  • Before the formal invention of tap shoes, dancers would often attach pennies to their footwear.
  • The screws on tap shoes can be adjusted to produce different tones, either lighter or deeper.
  • Soft shoe dancing is a form of tap dancing performed without taps.
  • Tap shoes can be considered a musical instrument.
  • African American slaves used the soles of their feet for tap dancing before the invention of taps.
  • There are various styles of tap, including 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 on the internet using the hashtag #NationalTapDanceDay. You can also enjoy the day by watching 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 (2024)
May 25 Saturday
Next year (2025)
May 25 Sunday
Last year (2023)
May 25 Thursday
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