5 Benefits of Tap Dancing

Benefits of Tap Dance. Tap Dance image. Image credit https://www.blogto.com/events/intro-to-tap-dancing-toronto/
Tap Dancing shoes

Dancing has been shown to provide numerous physical and mental health benefits. Different dance styles also offer specific advantages. This month, our Keep Dancing classes have been centered around tap dancing. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of tap dancing and its advantages, keep reading!

Tap dance has a strong focus on footwork and rhythm and has its origins in buck dancing. Buck dancing was a rhythmic stomping of the feet danced by slaves which carried fragments of African dance and became a precursor to what we know now as tap dance.

Tap dance was first featured to the wider public during minstrel shows (traveling musical groups) by one of the first black performers ever permitted to dance on stage to white audiences – William Henry Lane, also known as Master Juba. He became famous as the dancer who can outperform all his white competition in the United States and was able to attract significant fame in England which he visited with musical troupe “Ethiopian Serenaders”.

Lane’s tap dance became instantly very popular in Victorian England, and his influence pushed many other black and white dancers on both sides of Atlantic to start practicing tap dance. Tap dance can be split into two distinct categories, Jazz/Rhythm dance that is focused on musicality and tradition of tap dance, and Broadway that is used by stage performers who weave the dance into the theatre stories. Credit Tap Dance Origins – History of Tap Dancing (dancefacts.net)

Enjoy a tap dance spectacle from the musical 42nd Street on the One Show here:

Like with all types of dance, Tap Dance has many benefits to reap for the participant. Listed below are 5 benefits of tap dance :

The 5 Benefits of Tap Dance

Improves balance and posture 

When you tap dance, you have to learn how to steady yourself on the balls of your feet. This helps you to recognize where to shift your weight and strengthen your core. With consistent practice, you will gain more control over your body and improve coordination.  

Improves ankle mobility  

To be able to dance certain tap steps you will need good dorsiflexion in your ankles to be able to achieve the tap sound. You will be able to make the syncopated sounds or taps as a result of strengthening and stretching your ankles. 

Ankle exercises allow you to reach top performance condition. Although your ankle is a simple hinge joint, it’s responsible for maintaining balance. Your ankles also help to propel you forward as well as absorb shock when you jog or jump. If your ankles are stiff, they can inhibit your performance in your everyday activities, as well as lead to feet, shin or lower back injury. Various exercises, such as heel raises and ankle circles, can help to improve the flexibility of your ankles. 

Here is a video of exercise to help improve your ankle mobility.  

Improves cognitive thinking  

The movements of tap dancing and the changing of rhythms require you to remember complex patterns so that your brain, legs, and feet remain in sync.  

Strengthens lower leg muscles.  

Tap dance requires you to optimise your thighs, quads and calf muscles therefore strengthening the muscles.  

Enhances cardiovascular endurance

Tap dancing is great for your heart. The complex movements require more oxygen to be supplied to your muscles, which improves cardiovascular function over time.

Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC run weekly Keep Dancing classes, suitable for older adults across, Birmingham, Solihull, Walsall, Sandwell and online. Keep Dancing will teach you dances from around the world with no need to have a dance partner. Find your nearest Keep Dancing class here.

If you enjoyed reading the 5 benefits of Tap Dancing you might want to consider reading our 5 benefits of Charleston blog here

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Thank you for taking the time to read our blog 5 Benefits of Tap Dancing, and keep dancing!