Tap Dancing Inspiration for #NationalTapDanceDay

Tappers! It's #NationalTapDanceDay, and today the dance world salutes you, your magical musicality, your impressive respect for the history of your art and your infectious love of movement. Huzzah!

We have a ton of tap stories in our archives (find them all here!) and we love to put beautiful tappers on our cover (Hi Michelle! Hi Gaby!). Since we have so many stories, we thought we'd highlight a few of the best, for tap experts, novices and fans alike. Check it out!

For Non-Tappers: We can't all be Anthony Morigerato, tap dancing version of The Flash. So here's an in-depth story for those of you stepping into your first pair of percussive shoes. The takeaway? In an audition setting, fake it until you make it, then turn around and get to class.

For Beginners: Ready to master the time step? It's likely to show up at any Broadway audition that calls for tapping, so make sure you can execute it confidently.

For Experienced Dancers: Is it time to take your improvisation to the next level? Try your hand (or feet, rather) at a cutting contest, a tap battle where participants are required to stay with a set beat and make up their moves on the spot.

For Experts: Sometimes dancers get so caught up with amazing feats of technicality that they forget about emotional expressiveness. The same is true for the amazing feets* (sorry) of tap dancers. We investigated ways to use tap dance to tell a story.

For Everyone: Curious about the term "hoofer"? It has an important place in tap history, and isn't to be used lightly—just like you wouldn't call every ballet dancer a ballerina.

To close out our tap love-fest, who better than some of the art form's leading women? The Syncopated Ladies are doing great things for tap, for female dancers and choreographers, and for each other. And, this tribute performance to Prince is everything:

Want more Dance Spirit?

*Yes, I know that "feets" is not a word. But c'mon, it's such a good pun!

Latest Posts

Project 21 dancers (from left) Selena Hamilton, Gracyn French, and Dyllan Blackburn (Photo by Quinn Wharton; hair and makeup throughout by Angela Huff for Mark Edward Inc.)

How Project 21 Is Shaping the Next Generation of Competition-Dance Standouts

"I wish I had a better story about the name," says Molly Long, founder of the Orange County, CA–based dance studio Project 21. In truth, it's a play on the fact that she was born on the twenty-first of August, and 21 is her favorite number. "I was away on a teaching tour, the audition announcement was going live on Instagram the next day, and I desperately needed a name. Project 21 was just the least cheesy of the options I thought of!"

The fact that fans might expect the name to have some profound meaning speaks to the near-mythic status Project 21 has achieved on the competition and convention scene since its founding in 2014. Long's dancers are all wholly individual, yet jell seamlessly as a group, and are consistently snagging top prizes everywhere on the circuit. Each season brings a slew of new accolades, high-caliber faculty, and legions of devoted followers.

The industry has taken notice of the studio's unique ethos. "Molly gets through to her dancers in a special way, and they have this incomparable level of commitment to their craft as a result," says dancer and choreographer Billy Bell, who's worked closely with Long and her dancers. "That's what sets them apart—it's like a little dose of magic."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Dear Katie: What Can I Do to Get More Flexible?

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I'm a strong dancer, but I don't have a lot of flexibility. I stretch every day, but it feels like I'm getting nowhere. What can I do to get more flexible?


Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search