NATIONAL TAP DANCE DAY
National Tap Dance Day is observed each year on May 25. This day is a celebration of tap dancing as an American art form.
A percussive dance dating back to the early 1800s developed primarily from African and Irish influences.
Incorporating complex rhythmic step combinations performers often expressed enormous amounts of character through sound and bodily movement. From clogging to buck and wing styles, soft-shoe to the sand step and a little bit of jazz, tap dancing evolved from a stiff Irish jig to the bodily Cakewalk and vocal Ring-shout.
The popular Shim Sham of the vaudeville era became a line dance in the 1980s.
HOW TO OBSERVE
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The brainchild of Carol Vaughn, Nicola Daval and Linda Christensen, National Tap Dance Day was first presented to U.S. Congress on February 7, 1989, and was signed into American Law by President George. H.W. Bush on November 8, 1989. The one-time official observance was on May 25, 1989. May 25 is the birthday of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, a significant contributor to tap dance born in 1878. National Tap Dance Day has continued to be celebrated each year on May 25.
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