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Tap dancers across the US will be celebrating National Tap Dance Day, May 25, with a weekend of events and festivals.
Not simply a date chosen arbitrarily, National Tap Dance Day was actually signed into law in 1989 by President George Bush.
The result of campaigning by the Tap America Project (TAP), a resolution was passed designating May 25 to be a celebration of tap dance as an art unique to the US and the “fusion of African and European cultures into an exemplification of the American spirit”.
May 25 was chosen because it is the birthday of tap dance icon Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson. Born in 1878, Bill Robinson was influential both culturally and politically, making an “outstanding contribution to the art of tap dancing” and famous for his ‘stair dance’ – created spontaneously as he ascended the stairs to receive an honour from the King of England.
National Tap Dance Day celebrations and performances now take place annually in cities throughout the US and globally.
This year tappers can attend anything from tap jams at Huntington Beach and San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf to a Tap Dance Day Concert in Las Vegas, a ‘Tap Extravaganza’ in New York or even a commemorative National Tap Dance Day performance in Lisbon, Portugal.
Thu May 24 2001 (11:06:17 AM)