When we hear one of our favorite pieces of music, we have an innate ability to move our bodies in time with the beat of the tune. In the simplest form this begins with the foot tapping the floor in time with the beat. The desire to express our feelings via the medium of music and dance is very strong, even in times of extreme adversity.
Dance Scene school of dance teaches tap lessons in Harlow Essex to all ages and abilities, if this sounds like something you would like to try, have a look at our time table for a full list of classes and lessons or contact us directly.
Tap dancing shoes
Tap dancing makes use of special shoes, which make a sound, or tap, when they hit the floor. Some of our dancing heroes: Some of our tap dancing heroes are the screen greats Gene Kelly , Fred Astaire, and the Nicholas Brothers, who have been synonymous with tap dancing. It is ironic that such a joyous dance form traces its roots back to the music and inhibited dance movements of African slaves.
Tap had become established as a distinct dance form in the 1920s and gripped audiences in venues such as Harlem’s Cotton Club, here black artists performed solely for white audiences. The fantastic talent Bill Bojangles Robinson introduced a much nimbler style of tap, departing from earlier, flat-footed buck dancers. As competition for clients increased, the clubs offered increasingly more exciting and ground-breaking performances, tap became more acrobatic and athletic. One of the most popular forms of entertainment, in an era where television was unknown, was the cinema.
Tap dancing extravagance
Audiences visiting the pictures were ravenous for feel good escapism with extravagant sets, magnificent costumes, unforgettable songs and absolutely breath taking dance routines. Tap musicals in the 1930s, such as those Busby Berkeley choreographed, introduced hundreds of fresh dancers performing en masse in a most remarkable way. The skill of the individual dancers may have been somewhat lacking, as close ups scenes revealed, but overall the effect captivated audiences. ‘Bojangles’ Robinson made a screen name for himself appearing together with child star, Shirley Temple. The first all-black cast film musical was Stormy Weather, starring alongside the Nicholas Brothers, Lena Horne and Fats Waller.
Fred Astaire is most frequently associated with the period of the extravagant Hollywood musical. A combination of enormous talent and punishing hard work lead to his flawless skill as a tap dancer, which is beyond question; his perfectionism is renowned. Fred Astaire was the epitome of grace; style and charm; he toiled alongside choreographer Hermes Pan to yield some of the finest tap routines ever to hit the screens. Evolution of tap dance: In the 1950’s Gene Kelly’s masculine image surfaced, reflecting the styles of the period and his sporting background. There was more focus on Kelly’s muscular physique than top hats and tails, smoking jackets and suits. Slim fitting t-shirts and trousers depicted his fresh style.
By the time Gene Kelly performed on screen, the heyday of the Hollywood musical had literally another ten years to run. His movie career saw him star in some of the all-time greats such as An American in Paris and Singing in the Rain. Gene Kelly’s true appetite for dance as an art form prompted him to move into television, where his choreography included ballet and jazz. Here at Dance Scene we mix traditional tap dance classes with performance classes to give the student the insight required to appear on stage with skill, competence and confidence. This is available for students of all ages.
Tap dancing lessons in Harlow
Give us a call to discuss when you might start your tap dancing lessons in Harlow, start your dance career right now! Can’t wait to see you start that dance fusion in our classes.