Catch up on or revisit these essential TAPography articles by Tristan Bruns. Famous tap steps and their history, buying and customizing tap shoes, the relationship of tap dance to music, and teaching tap skills.
famous tap steps
These popular flash steps were the innovations and contributions of Toots Davis. Learn more about Davis and the history behind classic tap steps, in-the-trenches and over-the-tops.
Many contenders could claim to be “the king” of paddle and roll (also called paradiddles) but no other dancer is identified more with the tap step than tap icon, Lon Chaney. Bunny Briggs has also made his mark with the step, as have others. Learn more about paddle and roll and its origins.
In the 1920s, wings were all the rage, and many variations existed. The Pump, the Pendulum, the Saw, the Double Back… like time steps, most dancers had a signature wing variation. But there was one variation in particular that caught the public’s attention, and it was the 5-count wing, created by Frank Condos.
Sliding has long been a popular tap step. The novelty of the slide comes from the illusion that the floor has somehow developed a slick surface, giving the impression that the dancer is off balance and could fall at any minute. Discover how it’s done, view classic footage, and learn about the men who made the step famous.