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Why It's Important To Keep Tap Dancing Alive

Tap dance is as relevant today as it was during its creation. On occasion, comments such as “tap is in decline” or “tap is dying” can be heard but the truth is tap is still around and it’s important to keep it around forever.

Here’s why:

First, in its most basic presentation, tap dance gives joy. Attend any musical play or performance and when the tap dancing starts the smiles are clearly evident in the audience. Tap is an art form that exudes “happiness”.

While ballet and jazz dance have enjoyed more exposure in the arts, tap dance is unique in many ways. It is percussive dance and it is audible meaning the dancer becomes the percussion instrument and their feet become drumsticks. The rhythms created in tap dance can be simple or very complex depending on one’s skill level. The rhythms also help a tap dancer develop their musicality in other forms of dance. Tap also promotes coordination and balance.

And the best part of all- tap dance is a true American art form derived from Irish step dances and African-American dances. This rich heritage is worthy of preservation for all generations, present and future. It is an important part of our American culture.

Tap dance is accessible. Anyone can perform the simple steps in a relatively short amount of time. Children love tap because of the noise the shoes make and the rhythms soothe them. Adults, too, find it an enjoyable form of exercise while learning an art form. A win- win all around!

Most people think of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly when the subject of tap comes up, but tap was the original street corner dance. Many of the tap masters of the 20th century learned the art form in their neighborhoods at night on the corner trading and stealing steps from one another. Today, mostly, people learn tap at dance studios around the country, but there is no discounting the rich history of its birth on the street.

Without a doubt, people love to watch and perform tap. It’s a primal beat that stirs us to excitement and wonder. So, go ahead, put on some tap shoes and experience the true joy that this American art form can give.


To join a Tap class at Mary Lou's School of Dance, check out our schedule here.

New to our schedule in 2019 is Adult Tap, offered on Saturdays at 12:00 p.m.. To register for Adult Tap, simply call us at 210-658-9291 or email us at


Article written by Mr. Randy Bianchi, Tap Dance instructor at Mary Lou's School of Dance

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