Root of Tap
This program traces the unique history of tap dancing, which dates back almost 400 years! Tap dance originated in the United States in the early 19th century at the crossroads of African and Irish American dance forms. When slave owners took away traditional African percussion instruments, enslaved people turned to percussive dancing to express themselves and preserve their cultural identities. In this program, we explore Irish and West African dances, the Ring Shout (early slave dances), and dances from the masters of tap: Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Eddie Brown, and Leonard Reed’s Shim Sham.
Curriculum Links: Music, Dance, Social Studies, Cultural Awareness | Grades: K-12 and Adults