Tap dance  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Tap dance is a type of dance characterised by using the sounds of tap shoes striking the floor as a form of percussion. The sound is made by shoes that have a metal "tap" on the heel and toe.

There are several styles of tap dance, including rhythm (jazz), classical, Broadway, and post-modern. Broadway tap often focuses on formations, choreography and generally less complex rhythms; it is widely performed in musical theatre. Rhythm tap focuses on musicality, and practitioners consider themselves to be a part of the jazz tradition and as such, improvisation is essential to their work. Many influential rhythm tap dancers were members of the Hoofers Club. Classical tap has a similarly long tradition which marries European "classical" music with American foot drumming with a wide variation in full-body expression. Post-modern or contemporary tap has emerged over the last three decades to incorporate abstract expression, thematic narrative and technology.

Soft-shoe is a close relative of rhythm tap dancing that does not require tap shoes. Rhythm is generated by tapping the feet, and also by sliding the feet (sometimes using scattered sand on the stage to enhance the sound of sliding feet). It produced what is currently considered to be modern tap, but has since declined in popularity.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Tap dance" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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