Read about each style of dance. Watch the video links and practice the Movements! Think about the similarities and differences of these two amazing dance genres.
What is tap dance?
By: Brandon Ambrosino
Tap dance was born from a fusion of European and West African cultures. In the mid-1600s, slaves in the Southern United States began to imitate the jigs and social dances of the Irish and Scottish, combining them with the West African Juba dance.
Tap dance continued to evolve through the end of the century and was performed either in hard-soled wooden shoes (Buck and Wing) or soft-soled leather shoes (Soft Shoe). In the 1920s, metal taps were added to dancers' shoes, which helped to further differentiate the emerging style of dance from its predecessors. With the rise of the musicals on stage and screen, tap dance became a part of America's cultural fabric. Its popularity saw a brief decline due to the rise of rock-and-roll in the 1950s, but thirty years later, the genre saw a renewed interest among dancers, especially among black dancers who looked up to hoofers like Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis Jr., and Savion Glover.
Today, tap dance is broadly divided into two categories: rhythm tap and theatre tap. Rhythm tap focuses more on musicality and improvisation.
Theatre tap (also called Broadway or Show Tap) is a much more presentational style of dance and concerns itself with the aesthetics of the entire dancing body.
How to tap dance-Beginner Tutorial
Irish step dancing (one type of "Irish dance") is a type of recreational and competitive folk dance that has been recently popularized by the world-famous "Riverdance", "Celtic Tiger", and "Lord of the Dance". The dance form has its roots in Ireland. When performed as a solo dance, it is generally characterized by a stiff upper body and the quick and precise movements of the feet. Step dancing as a modern form is descended directly from sean nós ("old style") step dancing.
As a dance form, Irish dance has very precise rules about what one may and may not do and when, but within these rules there is almost infinite
room for variety and innovation. Thus, Irish step dancing is a vibrant and constantly evolving art form.