Greetings to my new readers: Cindy the tap dancer and Kimberly from American Field!
Thank you for following my blog…welcome to the brain drain!
Today I’m departing from writing about upsetting environmental issues like turtles getting plastic straws stuck in their noses and chimpanzee refugees displaced by mining activities to cover a more light-hearted topic: Percussive Shoes!
What is the difference between tap shoes and Irish clogs?
Its a question I have been asked quite often and wondered about myself, so here we go:
Noise Making Shoes (Percussive dance), Demysified
First, a quick youtube video to illustrate three dancing styles which are often confused: Irish Step, Tap Dance, and Clogging:
As you can see, these three dance styles use different movements to express music with their feet, aka dance. Which brings me to…
The Shoe Breakdown
Tap shoes look like this:
There are high heel versions as well:
Irish step shoes look like this:
And Appalacian Clogs look like this:
Appalacian dance can also be done with no taps, which makes the dance called flat-footing, I believe, and with regular tap shoes.
Without doing much research, I can tell you the taps and soles are different on all three shoes. While the appalacian clogging shoe has a thinner sole and more intricate taps, which makes for a more jingle-y soud, the tap and irish step shoes have a thicker wooden sole. Tap shoes have four metal plates screwed to the bottom, attached to the toes and heels, and Irish dancing shoes have fiberglass tips on the bottom, according to this Celtic Heritage blog. For an expalaination of the difference between the taps on clogging shoes vs. tap shoes, watch this nice mother-daughter video and you will sort-of understand, like me!
In addition to all three of these noise making shoes, there are flamenco shoes which also have some sort of metal stuck on the toes and heels, but instead of metal plates, looks like they are tiny pins.
And to round it all off for today, here is a video of an amazing Flamenco band and dancer. The reason I am including it and not a tap dance video is because the singers in this video are quite….special.
Check it out:
Ok ok and here, some clips of me tap dancing so you can see progress in motion:
Street performance with Ben Hoopes on guitar:
And my tap class’ end-of year showcase choreographed by Felipe Galgani, a sometimes muse (see sketch) and fabulous tap dancer and teacher from Brazil.
And also, a clip from a recent performance by Dorrance Dance, today’s TOP touring tap dance company. You will see a little appalacian clogging inspired tap in the 2nd video. Enjoy!
Finally, if you’re into listening to silly things, here’s a podcast about Appalacian Dance and other topics, recorded at Big Irv’s, an art collective in hipster Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York.
Thats all for today folks, lay off the plastic!
With great ape love,