Definition of tap dance in US English:

tap dance

noun

  • A dance performed wearing shoes fitted with metal taps, characterized by rhythmical tapping of the toes and heels.

    • ‘Before she was grown, she would take up flute, violin, ballet, ice-skating, tap dance and French, and she would skip the first and seventh grades.’
    • ‘He was a national tap dance champion before switching to ballet at 17.’
    • ‘Dorothy Kloss, 81 and in her 10th season with the Follies, was teaching tap dance in Pasadena and babysitting her grandchildren after a long career headlining in nightclubs and theaters.’
    • ‘Remember, though, that they are looking for talent so it can be absolutely anything from a tap dance to the whistling of a tune.’
    • ‘Remember that all jazz dance is essentially social dance set to jazz or jazz-influenced music, and that tap dance is a crucial part of the jazz dance scene, although it would not normally be taught by a jazz dance teacher.’
    • ‘Tap is another excellent way to build enthusiasm for dance; many boys know Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly and relate tap dance to their success.’
    • ‘His wife and daughter both taught tap dance as well as ballet.’
    • ‘So I learned all kinds of dance - hip hop, tap dance and jazz by watching videos and television.’
    • ‘Hitting precise aggressive rhythm patterns with percussive attacks, his dynamic technique and lengthy performances reflected his dedication to tap dance.’
    • ‘This time, the ensemble will not review Russian and Latin classics but show the audience new material like Spanish Flamenco dance and Irish tap dance.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, he performed an impromptu tap dance which drew great applause and hoots of appreciation from the audience.’
    • ‘He'll use tap-dance or mimic the jumping, flickering images from TV video clips, or he'll tell the story of Michelangelo's David - still inside its block of marble.’
    • ‘And when she executes a tap-dance while seated at her stenographer's desk, in one of Rob Ashford's wittier pieces of choreography, she makes it look effortlessly elegant.’
    • ‘But most special is that she is combining Brazilian music with American tap dance and she is maintaining the integrity of both.’
    • ‘New York City's Second Annual Tap Festival, held July 8-14, creates a highly visible home for tap dance.’
    • ‘As part of the program's commitment to a broad range of styles, the children were taught a tap dance to perform at one of the concerts.’
    • ‘She studied acting at New York and received training in ballet, jazz and tap dance at Norfolk Civic Ballet, Old Dominion University and at HB Studios.’
    • ‘There you have a basic beginning, tap dance continued to grow alongside the music that it was danced to.’
    • ‘How was it that he'd persuaded me with a simple tap dance like that?’
    • ‘But that is closely followed by a whirling tap dance by the actor who twirls chairs and leaps on bars with fantastic agility.’

verb

[no object]tap-dance
  • Perform a tap dance.

    • ‘My friends were joking with me that around Halloween they'd come kidnap me, tie me up and all, and put me in the middle of our auditorium at school and have Toby tap-dance on the stage and they'd all make weird noises to freak me out.’
    • ‘In ‘Playing My Self’, his 2001 show that toured the United States and other countries, he recited poetry, sang, and even tap-danced - all while playing the piano.’
    • ‘He also acknowledges a colourful supporting cast of influences, from Ally McLeod to Lionel Blair (who showed him how to tap-dance though claiming two left feet).’
    • ‘In the middle, dressed in top hat and tails, are the dancers, who would tap-dance to a medley of Fred Astaire classics.’
    • ‘It amazes me and I longed to learn to tap dance just so I could tap dance all around my house and show up my friends.’
    • ‘At nearly three years old, she knew they were ‘her shoes’, tap-dancing in them all over the shop before her mother agreed to buy them.’
    • ‘The court is in recess as the judge tap-dances upon his desk in celebration of an excellent audio and visual DVD presentation to a fantastic, beautiful, silly and magical film.’
    • ‘By tossing in too many forward-moving leaps and high kicks, you risk forcing her nimble feet to tap-dance even farther backward.’
    • ‘In another set, a solo performer clapped and tap-danced in the spotlight, first casually, then faster and faster, until his hands and legs were a blur of motion.’
    • ‘Watching, and hearing, Astaire tap dance, it is easy to forget how monotonous the art form can be.’
    • ‘She hasn't tap-danced since she was a lot younger, she's now 33, but it seems it's a bit like riding a bike, you soon get back in the swing.’
    • ‘There's not a single moment in any of Miller's plays - at least that I can readily call to mind - in which a character could believably burst into song, start tap-dancing, or even break out in laughter.’
    • ‘I learned to sing with a Broadway voice, and to tap dance.’
    • ‘Besides writing she is also known to tap dance like a professional and sing jazz well enough to earn money through it.’
    • ‘He tap-danced, did a time step, and spun like a top.’
    • ‘Next thing we know, he'll be playing the kazoo and tap-dancing!’
    • ‘Hines, who won a Tony award for best actor in the musical Jelly's Last Jam, was born in New York and learned to tap-dance at the age of three.’
    • ‘The 76-year-old comedian grabbed a torch, pointed it at his feet, and started an impromptu tap-dance.’
    • ‘He and the ‘dogs’ learned to tap dance as boys in a garage behind his dance teacher's house in Newcastle, a steel town north of Sydney.’
    • ‘"Aim for perfection," replied Fred, who then placed a coin on the floor and tap-danced around, over, even on the coin, hundreds of lightning steps.’

Phrases

  • tap dancing

      • ‘A cultural product of the slave trade, tap-dancing was derived from Irish jigs and Lancashire clog dancing but was heavily influenced by the musicality of African tribal dances.’
      • ‘Tap-dancing was not accepted as an audition piece, but he convinced the panel to let him tap anyway.’
      • ‘His tap-dancing is poor, his singing mediocre, and his hairdressing skills are not well developed at all, so what else could he do to make a living, I ask?’
      • ‘He is a high energy personality giving his all to tap-dancing and bringing tap-dancing back to the people, to the street, to the kids.’
      • ‘But what really took me by surprise was the constant clickety-clackety sound of tap-dancing.’

Pronunciation

tap dance

/ˈtæp ˌdæns//ˈtap ˌdans/