Goose asked in Arts & HumanitiesDancing · 1 decade ago

What is the difference between clogging and tapdancing?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The shoes are a big difference. And that is what most people will tell you the only difference is. It is true that the clogging taps are "jingle" taps. They consist of 2 pieces of metal, the second piece is attached so that it "jingles". Tap shoes have only 1 piece of metal on the toe and on the heel.

    But the difference goes beyond just the shoes and taps. The difference is also in the rhythms and steps of the two styles.

    Clogging has its roots in the Appalachian Mountains. It is characterized by the footwork. It also has associations with square dancing and similar formations and circle type steps are done. The emphasis is put into the strong footwork and the steady rhythms are usually repeated throughout a song.

    Today, clogging is done to any style of music but its primary genre of music is country.

    Tap dancing has its origins in the old "hoofers". These were African American slaves and Irish immigrants who would "battle" or challenge each other in this form of dance.

    Tap has evolved into melt of these early "battles", with strong influences from Vaudeville, modern jazz dance, and musical theater.

    Today, tap encompasses the whole body of the dancer, not just the feet. A tap routine will base itself around the intricate footwork, but requires the dancer to use jazz type moves and steps as well. Turns and leaps are just as common in tap as they are in jazz. Music used will range from modern pop songs, rap, musical theater, country, jazz, swing, latin......you name it!! Tap dancers will tap to anything with a beat!

    I teach tap, and I have talked with a clogging teacher before finding the similarities between the 2 forms. There are similar steps used in both forms, they have different names though. And the execution of the steps and styles are very different.

    I hope that helps you understand some of the differences between the two.

    Source(s): I'm a dance teacher
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Clogging is done with wooden shoes or at least was first done with wooden shoes and is a traditional folk dance. In clogging everyone participates at the same time, it is a group dance. The clogs make a sound that is rhythmnic but usuall includes only one kind of beat

    Tap dancing is about two things - the first is learning how to make all different rhythms found in music so a tap dancer has to learn dozens of different kinds of rhythms. So besides watching the dance, people can enjoy tap dancing just by listening to tap dancing. You could close your eyes and still enjoy hearing someone tap dance. A good comparison is like listening to a drummer.

    A tap dancer has special metal pieces on his or her shoes that give that special tap dance sound, but they also have on their shoes a hardened area on the toes so they can strike the floor with their toes and get a different sound. Lastly they have a hardened area on the back of their heals so they can get a third sound by striking the floor with the back of their heals. So that is like a drummer who has three different drums.

    Tap dancers have a fourth "drum" that you can't see. Before a performance they spread sand on the floor. So if they rub their feet on the floor you get an audible scraping sound that sound very smooth so it is more of a swishing sound than scraping. If you saw the movie "Happy Feet" that is how the penquin's sound was made -- a tap dancer making an arc along the floor with his feet and the floor has tap-dancer sand spread over the floor.. It's a special small grained sand that is milled so it has all the same consistency and so it doesn't have a grating sound that people would not like and is consistent in volume and as the dancer moves around the floor.

    Tap dancers to get the special rhythms must go to school and get special training like someone who learns to play a musical instrument. They must also learn how to dance like a professional dancer who you might see perform on broadway.

    If you ever saw old Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire movies while they were dancing without tap shoes, it is still nice to look at but what they are essentially doing is tap dancing with some other moves added. When tap dancer dance without sound they call it "soft shoe" dancing. But about 90 percent of their dancing, even when you don't hear it is tap dancing.

    So a tap dancer is a professional dancer who can do all the moves a broadway dancer or dancer in a musical can do, but added to that, they can make special rhythms with their feet that they can mix and match so it sounds like a drummer playing the drums. They are doing two different arts at once.

    So tap dancers have to learn how to do two things at once

    Source(s): A tap dance teacher.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    For sure the shoes !

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They are both very geeky. . . I once dated a go go dancer . . now that was classy.

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