Love tap dancing? Read our guide to learn about this popular dance style and how to find tap dancing auditions

Tap Dance History

The name comes from the tapping sound made by the metal plates on your shoes. You focus on foot movements and rhythm. You can improvise by following the beats from music, or dance a Capella. Because the tapping creates “beats” when tapping your feet, tap dancers are also considered percussion musicians.

Their are many forms of tap dancing. “Rhythm tap” is used by hoofers who dance primarily with their legs, making a louder, more grounded sound. Clogging involves double-time stomping and steps executed with the body held straight and upright. Clogging is performed to the downbeat of the music, usually with the heel keeping rhythm.

Tap dancing has also always been very popular around the world. From Spanish flamenco dancers to Stomp dancing in Ireland tap dancers perform in many shows, festivals, and TV.

Famous Tap Dancers

Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor. In the 1940’s Fred Astaire provided a more ballroom look to tap dancing, while Gene Kelly incorporate his extensive tap training to it.  This style of tap led to what is known as the “Broadway style,” which is popular in American mainstream culture today and can be seen on the musical, 42nd St.  His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films.

Sammy Davis, Jr 

Primarily a dancer and singer, Davis was a childhood vaudevillian, and became internationally famous for his performances on Broadway and Las Vegas, as a recording artist, television and film star, and the only black member of Frank Sinatra’s “Rat Pack”.

Shirley Temple 

Born to Gertrude Amelia Krieger a retired dancer, Shirley Temple was encouraged towards performing from early childhood. She has since become one or the most famous child actors worldswide. In the 1935 feature film Little Colonel, Shirley Temple and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson tap dance through a famous scene on the stairs.

Tap Dance Audtions

TV Show Competitions

You can audition for all the talent competitions on TV like “America’s Got Talent” or “So You Think You Can Dance.” Practice your dance piece until it is perfect. You only get one chance in front of the judges at the audition. If they think you are talented enough to compete, they will want you on their show.

Events, Cruises, Live Acts

Search for auditions and gigs for any local and live events. Many cruise lines also hire a lot of entertainers and you get to travel!

Other Things You Need to Know

How to Find Dance Auditions

Audition Tips for Dancers

Popular Dance Styles