Estefanía Porqueras performing at the Tap on Mallorca festival.

Estefanía Porqueras performing at the Tap on Mallorca festival.

12-10-2021Teresa Ayuga

Tap dancing has enjoyed a huge revival in the last few years and the Tap on Mallorca 2021 festival in Palma proved to be a massive success, drawing the best dancers from all over Europe.

Tap dancing is thought to have originated in minstrel shows in the United States in the mid 1800s and is a mixture of Scottish step dancing, Juba dance, English clog dancing and Irish jigs.

As its popularity grew, more and more vaudeville shows started featuring tap, but because black people were banned from performing solo, the acts had to consist of at least two people.

The most famous tap dancers in the early years were John ‘Bubbles’ Sublett with Ford ‘Buck’ Washington on piano and Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson, who was originally partnered with George W. Cooper, but later became world famous as a solo artist and appeared in numerous movies.

There are several different styles of tap, including classical, Broadway, post-modern and jazz, which is probably the most well known.

When Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Gene Kelly brought Broadway style tap to stage and screen, the popularity of tap dancing went sky high and studios started popping up all over the world.

To make the rhythmic sounds of tap, the dancers have metal plates on the toes and heels of their shoes and there are tons of different steps. The most common include the shuffle, shuffle ball change, double shuffle, leap shuffle, hop shuffle, flap, flap ball change, running flaps, flap heel, cramproll, buffalo, Maxi Ford, Maxi Ford with a pullback, pullbacks, wings, Cincinnati, the shim sham shimmy aka the Lindy, Irish, waltz clog, the paddle roll, the paradiddle, stomp, brushes, scuffs, spanks, riffs, and single and double toe punches, hot steps, heel clicks, time steps, over-the-tops, military time step, New Yorkers, Shiggy Bops, drawbacks, and chugs.

The Teachers Gala at the Tap on Mallorca Festival in Palma featured 7-time world champion Swiss tap dancer and choreographer, Daniel Borak and the Israeli dancer and choreographer Sharon Lavi, founder of the Sharon Lavi Company in Barcelona.

Other leading tap dancers, such as Estefanía Porqueras, Roser Font and Guillem Alonso from Catalonia and Adele Joel from Britain tapped to the music of the Sergi Sellés Trio at the festival, with Sergi Sellés on piano, Juanan Torrandell on double bass and Rubén García on drums.

The Tap On Mallorca 2021 festival closed with an improvisation session called Tap Jam and the awards ceremony took place at Es Gremi in Palma.

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