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Move Over, Shirley Temple

Tap Dancing: Techniques, Routines, Termnology

Submitter: From a Public Library!  This book also was copyrighted in Japan in 1971!   In the introduction, the author states that “most of the available information on tap dancing was written in the 1930s and . . . is certainly obsolete for today’s young people. Although essential remain the same, phrasing and explanation must be modernized with our present generation.”

We at my library agree — and urge another update to Tap Dancing so that we can withdraw the existing copy on our shelves. Although knowing how to do the “off-stage stomp” or the advanced “coffee grinders” would be desirable skills for the current generation.

Holly: Cute!  (And by cute, I mean completely nauseating.)  I’m especially creeped out by the little girl doing the “Simple Strut.”  She’s very Shirley Temple-esque, but way too intense.  Also, who tap dances in sandals? Especially something called “digs.” Ouch!

10 Responses to Move Over, Shirley Temple

  • No experience with anything in this book, so I’m just going to call out that funky font the title is in. It’s the only think that isn’t black, brown, white or yellow in the entire book!

  • I’ve been tap dancing for years, but I don’t think I’d be able to do a single step as described here–way too confusing! Tap is one of those skills that doesn’t really lend itself to book descriptions. I think in this day and age most people would turn to YouTube to see, and HEAR how the steps are supposed to be executed. There’s nothing in this book (at least in the pages shown) that actually describes the sounds your feet are supposed to make, which is every bit as important, if not more so, than how you look. Libraries looking to replace should probably consider DVDs or books with DVD-ROMs as replacements.

  • Shouldn’t you use a medium that moves in order to learn dance steps? DVD, streaming video, something like that?

  • Ok, so they’re not sensible for tap-dancing, at least if you want to make sound I guess – but I think that little girl in the “Digs” pic is adorable with a capital D’AWW!

  • I think that the advice to use Swanee River to count out steps would be lost on young (and many not-so-young) readers. If that doesn’t date it definitively enough, the hairstyles on the little girls certainly do.

  • Tappa, tappa, tappa … In my day I would have killed for “Tappa, tappa, tappa!”

  • My youngest daughter took dance lessons when she was about 4 or 5 years old and had an outfit about like that one in Simple Strut. But the black tap shoes had to be painted white for the recital… Thanks for bring that nightmare back…

  • @Julie – Thanks for the Simpsons reference! I needed a laugh this morning. 🙂

  • I tap danced for about 15 years and sure as heck never learned Russian cossacks.

  • @finn949: Bet you didn’t have moire fishnets, either! What a psychedelic effect!