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Being a Tap Dancer is an investment


"We're a tribe of very specific people, and I don't say that lightly. I really think that there is a spirit that you have to have to be a tap dancer. Anybody can go to the store and buy a pair of tap shoes, but to be involved in the community, it's an investment."


Tap Dance in America: A Twentieth-Century Chronology of Tap Performance on Stage, Film, and Media documents, factually and with minimal editorial flourish, twentieth-century tap performance. The collection is searchable by the title, date, and venue of performance; dancer, choreographer, director, producer; and performance medium (film, television, radio, stage, club); as well as by the names of “tap numbers” and tap choreographies. Though the database is not complete in any way, it is the most exhaustive and detailed collection of materials on record.


Kobe Bryant, who tragically died in a helicopter crash last weekend along with his teenage daughter and seven others, was one of the greatest basketball players who ever lived.

But even the greats deal with injury, and go to creative lengths to stay healthy.

Bryant's injury prevention routine was particularly unique—and involved taking tap classes to strengthen his ankles. (You've probably heard of football players taking ballet, but this one was new to us.)


You're in tap class and the teacher breaks down a complex phrase. You think you understand it, but when the music comes on, the speed and intricacy of the combination seem like more than your feet can handle.

It can be discouraging to feel as though your technique fails you as the tempo picks up, but you can train your feet to keep up with faster, trickier rhythms. DS talked to two master tappers to get strategies for increasing speed without sacrificing precision.


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