GFADAF EP 10 - Hart & Sole (The Hidden Histories of Tap Dance Histories Part 4)
Play • 1 hr 43 min

Tap dance history and philosophy from across the pond! Host Tristan Bruns reviews the book "Teach Yourself Tap Dancing" (2007) by Derek Hartley and compares it to other books in the "Hidden Histories of Tap Dance Histories" series—A meta analysis of syllabus-style, at home, DIY instruction books from 1932-2018 that compares and contrasts the various accounts of the history of tap dance found in these materials.

"Teach Yourself Tap Dancing" is the most modern book that's been covered so far. Hartley writes with a refreshing originality and does it "his way," but there are some recurring trends, good and not so good, that carry over from sentiments of the past. Other topics include some history on tap dancer and choreographer Buddy Bradley, the difference between Fred Astaire, Sammy Davis Jr. and Gene Kelly, musings on the origins of jazz music and we inch ever closer to discovering what exactly about tap dance makes us happy.

You can find a free digital copy of "Teach Yourself Tap Dancing" here: Full book at

Some timestamps to help you out:

0:00-3:14 Theme Song/Author Bio

3:15-7:20 The "Anti-Syllabus" Syllabus

7:21-11:55 Style & Teaching/Should tap be taught like ballet?

11:56-15:03 Time Steps/Which kind?

15:04-26:00 Music/The Origins of Jazz/Is "4/4 time" from Africa?

26:01-35:18 Buddy Bradley

35:19-37:35 Advertisement

37:36-57:52 History & Philosophy/The teleological reason for "Why Tap?"/Black settlers/The Triangular Slave Trade

57:53-1:02:09 Color-Blindness

1:01:55-1:09:44 Color-Blind Cultural Racism/Class and Race/What Is A Gaffe?

1:09:45-1:23:13 Philosophy—Do It For Yourself/Aristotle's "Chief Good"/Twist Ending

1:22:59-1:32:25 Tap Dance Podcast Roundup!

Support this program by joining us on Patreon. 50% of all support goes to the M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Academy at the Harold Washington Cultural Center on Chicago's historic South Side.

Link to our Patreon here:

Or support this program through a one time donation in our tip jar!

Thank you to Patreon supporters Liz Rancourt-Smith and Junior Laniyan. It took forever to put this one together as I wrote it in conjunction with the next one so that they wouldn't be too far apart, but that involved a lot of reading, so... But, wow!, thanks for sticking in there! I promise to put a shout out in the next episode. Appreciate you!

The Gasps From A Dying Art Form Podcast is a member of the M.A.D.D. Rhythms Podcast Network. Listen to our other podcast, "Either/And with Bril Barrett" here: Either/And Podcast


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