Original document was submitted as an honors thesis requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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The first form of dance conceived in the United States, tap dance, thrived throughout the era of vaudeville and the movie musical. Today’s society often overlooks tap dance beyond basic or beginner dance education; the history of the art from is even more so neglected. Within these pages, I will address the question of how the history of tap dance can be honored and preserved for generations to come. I feel so grateful to have had a tap mentor that valued the history of tap just as much as the technique and steps. Others in my field may not have been so lucky. This is ultimately a major hinderance in our ability as dance educators to future students. Developing a system of tap dance training accompanied by history as well as sparking the interest of audiences new and old is the best way to further tap technique and performance. Thanks to popular television programs such as World of Dance and So You Think You Can Dance, dance, in general, has seen a major resurgence in modern culture. Registration in dance schools, participation in dance conventions, and attendance in dance related performances is steadily on the rise with no sign of slowing down. In light of this, there has not been a better time to examine the way in which dance history is taught and conveyed; we must take advantage of the peaked interest and utilize all resources at hand. Tap dance, in particular, has seen its own small portion of this widespread dance resurgence especially due to the return of the movie musical - La La Land and The Greatest Showman. With the demand of dance on an upswing, inadequate, lackluster dance education is a serious concern. Dance teachers need to make sure the knowledge they are imparting on students is both historically accurate and progressive. In order to best educate myself and develop a viable solution, I have done extensive historical research through credible texts. I have read various books suggested to me by my own tap mentor and other tap professionals. I have also be read through various biographies and autobiographies. Now having obtained as much knowledge as possible regarding the history of tap dance, I efficiently developed a method in which preservation can take place within the teaching of technique. Tap dance, being one of the only forms of dance originating in the United States, deserves to be sustained and honored properly and to the highest degree.

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