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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Dance Video Clips

DanceSense Program 10: Tap and Percussive Dance



Four segments explore the origins and characteristics of dance forms in which the feet (and in some cases, other body parts) become percussive instruments. Tap History explores the influences of African dance, Irish step dance, and English clogging. Tap Techniques introduces a vocabulary of steps and the concept of syncopation. Tap Styles explores classic jazz tap and looks at the variety of other tap styles that have evolved over the years. Percussive Dance introduces other examples of percussive dance, including flamenco, Irish step dance, and body percussion.

Suggested Uses:

  • To build your own knowledge of tap and percussive dance.
  • To introduce class discussions or student research on tap and percussive dance.
  • To prepare students to attend a live tap dance performance.
  • Show with the tap performance “Jamaica Funk,” the “Kentucky Clogging” segment, and/or the “Flamenco: Farruca” segment from the Dance Performances video/DVD.
  • Show with the “Three Irish Dances” segment from Part III of the DanceSense Enhanced DVD.
  • Show with the “Hand Jives” segment from the African Root video/DVD as another example of percussive rhythm.

Lesson plans using this resource:

  • Funky Tap (6-12)
    Students research and discuss the history, characteristics, and art of tap, then create a performance critique that they will use as they watch a tap performance.
  • Understanding Tap (6-12)
    Students demonstrate rhythm through clapping and tapping and improvise “conversations” through tap.

For more information:

(These links may leave the Arts Toolkit.)

See the History and Styles section of the Dance Arts Toolkit binder.

About DanceSense:


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