In Tap, the dancer also becomes a percussive musician. Tap dance is often characterized by syncopation and improvisation by making rhythmical tapping sounds attained by small metal plates on the dancer’s shoes. Tap dance flourished throughout the US in the first half of the 20the century.  It was at this time that Tap was performed mainly to jazz music, earning it the alternative name ‘Jazz dance’.

Tap technique:

  • Clarity of taps
  • Nimbleness, speed and dexterity
  • Stylish use of upper body, head, arms and hands


Many dancers today consider themselves “well rounded dancers”.  To me, well rounded would mean knowing and being able to perform all styles of dance…at least knowing the basics of the styles you are not as strong in.  So, are you really well rounded if you don’t know tap?

  1. Musicality: In tap dancing, many times the accents you hit are sounds in the music that people wouldn’t normally hear.  When you accent them, the audience hears that part of the music.  This helps dancers with their musicality.

  2. Rhythm! Tap dancing helps dancers on their rhythm, which then carries over to help them with other styles of dance as well.

  3. Syncopation: A lot of tap dances involve practicing syncopation.

  4. Builds Ankle Strength: When tap steps are done up on your toes (toe stands, toe shuffles, etc.), this requires the dancer to build stronger and more stable ankles.

  5. Culture: The culture behind tap dancing is important for children to know.  Tap dancing evolved mainly from Irish Americans and African Americans, both having their own unique style of tap dancing.

  6. Coordination and balance: These important aspects of dance are practiced with a variety of tap steps and movements.

  7. Many young children that are just starting dance love tap class because of the noise the tap shoes make and that they can listen and respond to the music.  This helps with their development as a child because they practice their timing by making the sounds together as a class.

  8. For older dancers that are trying to become professional dancers, and attending audition after audition, tap dancing sets them apart from every other dancer in the “dance world”.  If they know you are a versatile dancer, with tap in your background, that could easily become your stand out moment.

  9. It is ENTERTAINING!  I don’t know many people that would get bored watching a good tap dance, in awe at how fast the feet move.

-This is an article from (danceteacherconnect.com, Kelsey Anderson, 2013)