Just like music, tap dancing has many unique styles and types. The different styles of tap dancing came from several backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs. People from across the globe have all contributed to tap.
Broadway Tap: This style of tap incorporates jazz and tap to create a solid performance for the audience. Rather than focusing on the musicality of the tap dancing, it focuses on the dance itself. Other styles of dance such as jazz and ballet are often incorporated to make the dance even more appealing to the audience.
Freestyle Tap: This style of tap is exactly what it sounds like. The dancer taps to the beat of their own drum, or use the music to express themselves through their dancing. Their are no rules or guidelines and anything goes.
Rhythm Tap: This intricate style of dancing focuses on the percussive sounds of the taps. The tap shoes are viewed as an instrument. Emphasis is often placed on the heel sounds and scrapping noises of the taps. It is most often performed acapella, so the audience can concentrate on the sound of the taps rather than the music.
Hoofing: This style of tap is similar to rhythm tap. However, more emphasis is placed on the dancer’s stomps and the dancer utilizes their change in weight to create different sounds and depths with the taps.
Jazz Tap: This style of dance incorporates jazz dance and tap dance to create an elegant and exciting performance. Characteristics of jazz such as leaps and turns are added to the tap dancing to create a more visually appealing performance for the audience.
Soft Shoe: This style of tap dance is performed with shoes that have no metal taps on them. Performers sometimes dance with sand on the stage to create sound along with fluid movements. Instead of the audience being drawn to the sound of the tap shoes, they are drawn to the graceful and delicate movements of the dancer’s feet.
Buck and Wing: This style of tap dance is very energetic and upbeat. It involves lots of jumping hopping, and upper body movement like swinging of the arms. It is often done in wooden-soled tap shoes that have no metal taps. Most styles of tap originated from Buck and Wing because metal taps had not yet been attached to the soles of shoes.