The National Tap Dance Day Bill: (0:25)
We are just a few days away from National Tap Dance Day, which falls on May 25th, the birth date of Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson. The idea of National Tap Dance Day was first presented to Congress on February 7, 1989 and was signed by President George H.W. Bush on November 8, 1989 with the first official observance taking place on May 25th, 1989.
This year is the 30th annual celebration of National Tap Dance Day and today, I’m going to read to you the proposed bill, the official joint resolution of the House and Senate to designate May 25th at National Tap Dance Day and I’m going to make some suggestions on how you can celebrate this beautiful holiday!
The multifaceted art form of tap dancing is a manifestation of the cultural heritage of our Nation, reflecting the fusion of African and European cultures into an exemplification of the American spirit, that should be, through documentation, and archival and performance support, transmitted to succeeding generations;
Tap dancing has had an historic and continuing influence on other genres of American art, including music, vaudeville, Broadway musical theater, and film, as well as other dance forms;
Tap dancing is a joyful and powerful aesthetic force providing a source of enjoyment and an outlet for creativity and self-expression for Americans on both the professional and amateur level;
It is in the best interest of the people of our Nation to preserve, promote, and celebrate this uniquely American art form;
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson made an outstanding contribution to the art of tap dancing on both stage and film through the unification of diverse stylistic and racial elements.
May 25, as the anniversary of the birth of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson is an appropriate day on which to refocus the attention of the Nation on American tap dancing: Now therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that May 25, 1989 is designated “National Tap Dance Day.” The President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe such a day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
This bill was signed, thanks to many people who were involved in the efforts by the Tap America Project (TAP).
How can I celebrate: (3:45)
- There are many events that are hosted in celebration of National Tap Dance Day but you don’t have to go out to celebrate.
- Watch a tap dance movie or documentary, (Tap, White Nights, Singin’ in the Rain, The Cotton Club, Been Rich All My Life, By Word of Foot, No Maps on My Taps).
- Read a tap dance book, (Inside Tap, The Souls of Your Feet, Tap Roots: The Early History of Tap Dancing, Gabriella’s Tap Shoes, Tap Dancing America)
- Go down the youtube rabbit hole and watch videos of Bojangles
- Put your shoes on and get your shuffles in
- Consider donating to an organization that supports to tap dance.
Let me know what you’re up to this National Tap Dance Day. I’ve celebrated in Colombia teaching and performing at the BOGOTap festival, in Taipei Taiwan teaching for “Tap Me To The World”, in NYC hanging at the Tap Family Reunion.
But every year, I always host a national at Grooves Unlimited on memorial day and this year is no different. On Monday, May 27th we’ll be celebrating with a shared master class with Anthony Morigerato and auditions for my pre-professional FutureSTEP Tap Company. If you want to join, let me know!
May everything be copasetic for you on this upcoming National Tap Dance Day. Use the hashtag #NationalTapDanceDay to post on social and use the hashtag #iTapOnline so I can check out what you’re doing. I love supporting you in your tap dance journey.