Every 25th of May the world stops, or should I say stomps for National Tap Dance Day.
The concept of a National day honoring tap was first presented to Congress in February of 1989 to celebrate the heritage and origins of the dance genre, along with the notable tap dancing greats. There was a one time official observance on May 25th, 1989. Then more than a decade later in 2004 it was signed into American law by then president George H.W. Bush. May 25th was chosen as the special international commemoration date because it was the birthday of one of the most respected, and arguably most iconic tap dancers in history, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson (1878-1949).
National Tap Dance Day is celebrated in a variety of ways by different groups. Areas with larger tap communities such as big cities across America have big events with performances, while studios in other regions tend to have their own little celebrations. It is not uncommon for Tap Dance Day organizers in any given area to go out and grab people off the street challenging them to do the Shim Sham Shimmy, (a variation of an iconic routine also considered to be tap’s national anthem).
Delia Alcocerf’s 2014 Tap Dance Day flashmob in San Diego, CA.
Albeit an American art form and American day of commemoration tap dance day is also celebrated in other countries like Japan, Australia, Iceland and India on May 25th and during the weeks surrounding it. It is also celebrated widely online with more than 3,000 mentions just last year alone.
Japan, now home to one of the largest events has been producing National Tap Dance Day officially since 1991. There are over 40 teachers and choreographers who come together each year to produce National Tap Dance Day Japan, which features a two hour full scale production with the local tap dance community (both amateurs and pros), as well as special invited featured guests from across the globe.
More than 300 dancers fill the stage for the National Tap Dance Day Japan finale in 2008.
Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts Students have a tap challenge for National Tap Dance Day.
Information for Tap Dance Day’s past and upcoming from Orange County, CA to worldwide are as follows:
United States 2017
LOCATION: United States – California – Orange County
DESCRIPTION: Southern California 2017 Tap Dance Day Celebration
DATE: April 23, 2017 (Sunday)
VENUE: Impact Dance Center
ADDRESS: 5370 Katella Avenue, Los Alamitos CA USA
INFORMATION: Printable Flyer
LOCATION: United States – New York – New York City – Queens
EVENT: Lucky to Be Alive for Tap Dance Day
DESCRIPTION: Rockaway Beach 2017 Tap Dance Day Celebration
DATE: May 25, 2017 (Thursday)
ADDRESS: Rockaway Beach at 94th Street
RESOURCES: – Official Event Announcement – Facebook Event Page
VENUE: Philadelphia City Hall (the North Apron)
DESCRIPTION: National Dance Day Celebration
DATE: May 25, 2017 (Thursday)
ADDRESS: 1401 John F Kennedy Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA
INFORMATION: Event page
LOCATION: Portland, Oregon
DATES: May 26-28, 2017
EVENT: 2nd Portland Tap Dance Festival
VENUE: Plaza San Martin
VIDEO: Twins Tap Dance Center Video
Variety show for National Tap Dance Day 2016 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
LOCATION: Japan – Honshu Island – Tokyo
DESCRIPTION: Tokyo 2017 Tap Dance Day Celebreation
DATES: April 22-23, 2017 (Saturday-Sunday)
INFORMATION: Official Event Announcement
LOCATION: Brazil – Pernambuco – Recife
EVENT: Sapateia Recife 2017
DESCRIPTION: Recife 2017 Tap Dance Day Celebration
DATE: May 25, 2017
VENUE: Teatro Luiz Mendonca
ADDRESS: Dona Lindu Park, Recife, Brazil
United Kingdom 2017
DATES: May 19-22, 2017
EVENT: Inaugural Tap UK Festival 2017
LOCATION: Torquay, England, United Kingdom
DESCRIPTION: London Tap Dance Day Celebration
VIDEO: Avalon Rathgeb’s “2016 Tap Dance Day” Video
If you’re able to get to or are located in an area with a Tap Dance Day event, don’t pout and check it out! The Orange County event for example, has a full roster of master classes taught by several master instructors. They will be covering everything from basic tap to swing, musical theater and even bucket drumming. Classes for kids and adults at all levels will be offered. And with informal showings of material presented, it will be an event not to be missed! Philadelphia’s event with performances by a youth tap ensemble, extends a warm welcome for all, daring invitees to “bring their shoes!”
Header video: 42nd Street National tour cast Shim Sham’s for National Tap Dance Day