tap legs

Below are a selection of tap dance resources including articles, books and videos. For website links visit the Tap dance links page.


Tap dancing takes off again (From The Times, 29 November 2008)
“Cut to a dingy basement of a Soho bar a few months later. It’s my birthday and my husband has a surprise for me – I’m getting a bit worried. As we descend the stairs I hear a three-piece jazz band and… what else? An additional percussive beat, it’s the sound of…tap! Fast, funky and furious”
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The Greatest Tap Dance Stars and their Stories, 1900 – 1955.
Rusty E. Frank. Da Capo Press. New York.1994

Jazz Dance: The Story of American Vernacular Dance.
Marshall & Jean Steans. Da Capo Press. New York. 1968
Detailed history of Tap as a Jazz form from 18th Century to the sixties. Language a little dated but still an interesting insight into the social and historical background of Jazz and Tap Dance.

Tapping the Source: Tap Dance Stories, Theory and Practice.
Brenda Buffalino. Codhill Press. New Paltz, New York. 2004
This book combines the story of Brendas development as a tap dancer with her tap philosophy and technique, the Tap revival of the 70s and charts the Tap scene of today.

The Souls of Your Feet: A Tap Dance Guidebook for Rhythm Explorers
Acia Gray. Grand Weavers Publishing. Austin TX, USA. 1998

Tap! The Greatest Tap Dance Starts and their Stories, 1900 1955.
Rusty E Frank. New York Da Capo Press. 1994
First person accounts from tap legends through the ages such as Willie Covan, Peg Leg Bates, Fayard Nicholas, Bunny Briggs, Eddie Brown, Prince Spencer, Jimmy Slyde and many more

Tap Roots: The Early History of Tap Dancing
Mark Knowles. McFarland
Explores the many cultural influences leading to the creation of modern tap dancing and details the history of the development of tap prior to 1900

The Tap Dance Dictionary
Mark Knowles. North Carolina, McFarland & Company. 1998
Encyclopaedic documentation and notation of just about every tap step you ever heard of

My Life in Tap
Savion Glover / Bruce Weber. William Morrow and Company, New York. 2000

Black Dance in America
James Haskins. Welcome Rain Publishers. February 2000


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Great Feats of Feet. 1975-6
A classic documentary exploring the tradition of jazz & tap dance, the essence that sets it uniquely apart from other dance forms, featuring The Copasetics

Legends of Tap. 1974
Vintage Lecture Demonstration with Charles “Honi” Coles, Charles “Cookie” Cook, Leslie “Bubba” Gaines

Two Takes on Tap
This tape presents a video portrait of Brenda Bufalino and Lynn Dally — virtuosic tap performers, innovative choreographers and pioneering Artistic Directors of the American Tap Dance Orchestra and the Jazz Tap Ensemble. Also available from the ATDF – footage of American Tap Dance Orchestra in performance and instructional videos with Brenda Bufalino and Tony Waag.

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No Maps on my Taps
Film by George Nierenberg. With Chuck Green, Bunny Briggs, and Sandman Sims. This film offers unique insight into jazz tap dancing as an indigenous American art form. The spirit of tap in its heyday, shown in rare photos and Hollywood film clips of the 1930’s, provides a backdrop for intimate portraits of three surviving “hoofers.” This film is a historical record of this distinctly American dance form.

About Tap. 1985
Hosted by Gregory Hines, focusing on the artistry and style of some of America’s leading male tap dancers including the works of masters Steve Condos, Jimmy Slyde and Chuck Green. About Tap will charm everyone who appreciates dance and will serve as a splendid introduction to those who have yet to discover the beauty of jazz tap dancing.

Tap! 1989
Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis, Jr. and some legendary hoofers star in a rousing dance showcase about a second-generation tap dancers and paroled jewel thief who’s torn between the stage an returning to his lavish life of crime. The sequence of dancers in the “Challenge” scene is: Arthur Duncan, Bunny Briggs, Jimmy Slyde, Steve Condos, Harold Nicholas, Sandman Sims and finally Sammy Davis, Jr. and Gregory Hines. The Shim Sham Girls in the nightclub scene are: Suzanne Douglas, Jane Goldberg, Dorothy Wasserman, Dianne Walker and Frances Neely. Costarring Suzzanne Douglas. Choreography by Henry LeTang and Gregory Hines. Written and directed by Nick Castle.

PBS special: Gregory Hines – Tap Dance in America The PBS

“Dance In America” series had a show devoted to tap narrated by Gregory Hines. It included several masters as well as today’s artists. It had rehearsals and discussions between artists and ended with performances by tap groups and solo artists covering many different styles.

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Tap Heat Starring Jason Samuels Smith
This 14 minute short films tells a story through tap with no words. It looks at the difference between the styles of two generations and eventually fuses them to stage a fantastic number reminiscent of the MGM era. Brilliant example of the “Nu Skool” style of Jason Samuels Smith.

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We are compiling a database of rhythm tap learning resources so please contact us with recommended tap books, videos and articles.