The Tap Dance Dictionary

The Tap Dance DictionaryMcFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers
ISBN: 0-7864-0352-7
264 pages
(7 x 10)

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The language of tap dancing is as rich and varied as that of any art, and different choreographers, teachers and performers often use totally different terms for exactly the same step. The various names of all steps and clear descriptions of them are collected for the first time in this reference work. The emphasis is on all variations of a name, from universally recognized terms to simple “pet” names that individual performers and choreographers have created, with extensive cross-references provided. Each of the steps is fully described, with appropriate counts, explanations and history. Many antique and unusual steps such as the Patting Juba, the Quack, and the Swanee Shuffle are included.


“intensive and comprehensive …endlessly fascinating …highly recommended for all dance collections” – Backstage

“…unique …will be a welcome addition to academic libraries” – Booklist

“…a complete reference guide for tap dancers of nearly all levels …an excellent resource!” –

“…the rich and varied language of tap dancing is documented here …a useful tool and a valuable source of information” – ARBA

“This dictionary is the most thorough compendium …to date on the tap dance scene… [Other books] have not always been readily accessible, nor do they reflect the range and complexity of Knowles’ selections. Knowles’ collection of terms is by far more inclusive, comprehensively arranged, and is not cluttered with stage directions or musical suggestions …As a reference tool for dance historians and as a working tool for community tap enthusiasts and teachers, this book is exceptional!” – Reference & Users Services Quarterly




Also Available in Hardback edition.