May 25th National Tap Dance Day

Tap dance has been around since the early 1800’s. It’s roots come from a mix of African and Irish dance and music. It’s rhythms are limited only to the imaginations of those great dancers over the years. The date for this celebration was picked to commemorate one of the first greats, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, birthday May 25th, 1878.

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The holiday was created by Carol Vaughn, Nicola Daval, and Linda Christensen who put the idea to Congress on February 7, 1989. President George H.W. Bush signed it into law on November 8, 1989, and the date of May 25th was selected in honor of Robinson.

Here are a few more, of the hundreds, of tap dancers that you may remember.

Gene Kelly

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Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire

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Gregory Hines

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Sammy Davis Jr.

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Buddy Ebsen

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Donald O’Connor

Actor Donald O'Connor
Actor Donald O’Connor, shown in this 1954 promotional photo from Universal Studios, is best remembered for dancing and flipping on walls in the classic movie, “Singing In the Rain. ” Fans will be able to see the inside walls of O’Connors Sedona, Arizona home. The entertainer’s family is putting much of his estate on the market and allowing people take part in an essentially Hollywoodized rummage sale. O’Connor died in 2003. (AP Photo/Universal Studios) ** NO SALES **

Shirley Temple

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and Savion Grover

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Check these out: Bill “Bo Jangles” Robinson, Shirley Temple, Gene Kelly, Savion Grover, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr., Buddy Ebsen and Donald O’Connor (note O’Connor dancing wearing roller skates)…

…Or who could forget the tap dance scene with Daddy Warbucks and Orphan Annie

How to celebrate: Try tap dancing. Buy a pair of tap shoes so you can at least make that cool clicking sound. If you can’t get your feet working, put the shoes on your hands and try. Watch a movie with any of the above dancers in it.