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


Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by Jamayla Burse

Catching Up With Christian Burse, Comp Kid Turned Complexions Rising Star

With her nearly limitless facility, well-timed dynamics and incredible control, Christian Burse's future as a dancer was guaranteed to be bright. A student at the renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, and at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, TX, Burse has consistently made waves: She won first runner-up for Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in 2019, received a grant for summer study at Juilliard from the Texas Young Masters program in 2020, and was named a YoungArts finalist for dance in 2021.

So, it wasn't all that surprising when Burse announced that, at just 17 years old, she would be joining Complexions Contemporary Ballet as an apprentice for the company's 2021–22 season.

Dance Spirit caught up with Burse to hear all about her first season with Complexions ahead of the contemporary ballet company's run at the Joyce Theater in NYC this month.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search