Another of the Who Knew?-type posts. It’s National Tap Dance Day. When I was a little kid, I took the “required” ballet and tap classes for a year. My mom has a picture of me in my tutu and one in my majorette costume for the tap recital. I imagine I only took for the year because those costumes cost extra money.
Later on, I bought tap shoes – still unused – and signed up with a friend for a local adult tap class. Unfortunately, we were the only ones who signed up for the class and it was cancelled. It was a major nightmare trying to get our money back. They wanted to give us a credit for the next time, but that would cost more money which we didn’t want to pay.
But, I digress.
National Tap Dance Day falls on May 25 every year and is a celebration of tap dancing as an American art form. The idea of National Tap Dance Day was first presented to U.S. Congress on February 7, 1989 and was signed into American law by President George H.W. Bush on November 8, 2004. The one-time official observance was on May 25, 1989.
Tap Dance Day is also celebrated in other countries, particularly Japan, Australia, India and Iceland.
National Tap Dance Day was the brainchild of Carol Vaughn, Nicola Daval, and Linda Christensen. They deemed May 25 appropriate for this holiday because it is the birthday of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, a significant contributor to tap dance.
Even Legos can tap to Puttin’ On The Ritz! A tribute to Fred Astaire, in the classic scene from the 1946 musical, Blue Skies, with the music and lyrics by Irving Berlin. Although originally written for vaudevillian Harry Richman in 1930, the lyrics were readapted along with a brand new dance sequence some 16 years later.
Here’s the original from Blue Skies, although some has been cut with stills of Fred inserted:
And another version, with Michael Jackson 🙂
Just for comparison, the real original 1930 movie footage of Irving Berlin’s world-famous song, sung by Harry Richman, from the film of the same name.
And something completely different with my old favorites, The Nicholas Brothers from the film Stormy Weather.