National Tap Dance Day: A Message From Bojangles


Today is National Tap Dance Day! If you didn’t know, every May 25th tap dancers around the world celebrate the art form of tap dance. This day marks the birthday of famous black tap dance legend Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

Another name for tap dancers is “hoofers.” We have metal under our feet, and make rhythms with our shoes. Just like a horse does with their hoof.

Speaking of Bojangles: he wrote you something special! Yes he did:

Read this wild & crazy message from Bill Robinson

National Tap Dance Day message from Bojangles

National Tap Dance Day message from Bojangles

There you’ll find a VERY special, VIP membership for 25 days of TAP DANCE at a jaw-dropping rate, to one of the top-ranked studios in Toronto. Guess where? 😉

You’ve never seen anything like this.

This is PERFECT if you haven’t tap danced in a while and need to get your butt back to class (not for newbies who never tap danced before.) Especially good for:

*- College students who just finished exams & need to tap
*- University students who dance & are back in Toronto
*- Theatre & industry professionals who need to maintain tap skills
*- Tap dance teachers, studio owners & your assistants
*- Lovers of challenging, inspiring tap classes
*- Overworked office people who need instant stress relief

It also makes an excellent, thoughtful gift for someone who used to tap and keeps saying

“OMG I need to tap dance!” And you say:
“OMG well why don’t you?” to which they reply
“Well I don’t know, where do I go?”

That’s when you respond with

“Here tap lover, take this and go dance your brains out.”
“OMG really? I love you!”
“Nope, I love you more!”

…You then passionately embrace like a classic MGM movie scene, right before the train leaves the station. [cue violins] Take a gander at what Bojangles wrote for you (his grammar isn’t that good, so read slowly…)

Read Bojangles’ wild and crazy message for you here

Happy National Tap Dance Day,

– Shawn B


SNEAK PEEK PART 3: The Shoes Of I Think I Can

SNEAK PEEK PART 3: The Shoes Of I Think I Can

Tap Dance Shoes for I Think I Can Show

Tap Dance Shoes for I Think I Can Show

Shoes. OMG, SHOES.

So as you’ve learned, it’s a tap dance show. And we have a LOT of shoes! Each character has a signature step when entering to the stage, and their shoes are no different. Here’s what the cast of I Think I Can are rocking on their feet:

Tap shoe supplies

Tap shoe supplies

So the metal thingys on the top right? Those are metal taps made from aluminum alloy. They come in different sizes based on the shoe size and width. We’ve had to custom grind a few edges down to make them a perfect fit for our cast.

Metal screws attach to the metal plates or black fiberboard, never directly to the leather sole. The screws that come with the taps are a bit too small so our wardrobe team had sourced out screws that were slightly longer.Also, the screw head widths have to fit perfectly in the holes or they scratch the floor. NOT good. We’ve had to grind some down.

Check out the soft-shoe slide show:

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As you can see, different styles of tap shoes are featured. Newton has sport tap runner shoes, since he’s the sport junkie in the production. Frufie, well hers are blue. Because she’s cute. Notice the unusual looking pair of clown shoes and boots? They were custom made from our awesome wardrobe department for additional characters in the show…

Most of the cast tap shoes are built up- which is when you add another sole of leather to the bottom. This gives the shoe a bit more weight, which allows for a heavier sound. It also makes steps like toe stands easier to do. They all have different shoe laces to match their wardrobe.

Everyone has TWO pairs of tap shoes because they’ll be worked pretty hard over the next couple of months in Toronto (Lorraine Kimsa Theatre) and in Ottawa (National Arts Centre).

I Think I Can custom tap dance floor

The stage FLOOR is just as important. It was custom built specifically for this show, tap-dancer ready. It’s a sprung floor with a masonite wood surface. The spring gives the tap dancers a bit of cushion when they land, which helps absorb shock and impact to their ankles, knees and hips. Plus, the sound their taps make resonates better on a sprung floor.

Now you know.

Come check out the good lookin’ feet!

– Shawn B

i Think i Can dance show - Toronto Ottawa

i Think i Can dance show - Toronto Ottawa

i Think i Can

Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People

April 4th – May 5th, 2011
Get TORONTO Info And Tickets

National Arts Centre

May 11th – 28th, 2011
Get OTTAWA Info And Tickets