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date: 17 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The competitive nature of televised dance shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and Got to Dance enables tap dancers to compete against dancers from a range of styles and genres. These shows require set choreography with the focus on a final performance, rather than improvised tap steps devised from tap challenges, which evolved from American tap practitioners competing against each other to demonstrate proficiency in rhythmic interpretation of the music. This chapter discusses the results of movement analysis of the English tap company the Pulse Collective and auditions in Sky 1’s Got to Dance. The analysis is supported by a historical comparison of tap dance in the United States, where the form first evolved, and its emergence in England to examine how tap dancers measure success across multiple contexts, such as informal challenges, theatrical performances, and formal examinations.

Keywords: tap dance, improvisation, Pulse Collective, tap challenge, Got to Dance

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