Back | Next

Xavier Cugat concert program, 1953

Tap Dances
Anne Schley Duggan

Dr. Anne S. Duggan was apparently quite an academician in the area of Kinesiology, the study of human movement. Wikipedia says, “ Kinesiology encompasses human anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, exercise physiology, exercise psychology and sociology, history, and philosophy of sport. The relationship between the quality of movement and overall human health is also studied.” Dr. Duggan appears to have focused her research and writing on the subjects of movement and dance, folk dances and in the instance of this volume, on Tap.

Tap Dances was published by A.S.Barnes and Company of New York in 1933 Tap Wonderland's copy is a first edition, hard cover, 115 pages. there is an introduction, written by Jesse Feiring Williams, apparently an important name in the history of physical education in America. There are small chapters covering the Explanation of Terms, Counting and Music, and Fundamental Steps. This is one of those interesting instruction books from the 1930's that provided routines dancers could learn and also the sheet music arranged to go with the routines. In this case the music is arranged by Esther Allen Bremer. One can imagine a studio with a live pianist Ms. Bremer's arrangements while the line of cute little Shirley Temple look-alikes practiced Ms. Duggan's routines. Or, perhaps at home with the rug rolled up and mom or Aunt Louise at the upright in the corner.

The 12 routines in included are School Days (Waltz for duet or group), Oh Lemuel ( Buck for solo, duet or group], Old AMC (Eccentric for solo or group), Arithmetic (Buck for duet or group), Dobbin (Eccentric for duet or group), Coquette (Waltz for solo,Duet or group), In the Gay Nineties (Waltz for duet or group), On Parade (Military for solo duet or group). Colleen (Soft shoe for solo,duet or group), Sailing (Buck for solo, duet or group), Southern Medley (Soft shoe for solo,duet or group) Drum Corps (Military for solo,duet or group). Along with accompanying arrangements each routing comes with suggestions for costumes. Be prepared for 1930's African-American stereotypes.

If you are really into this, you can read the entire Foreword, written by Ms. Duggan.


— Shinichi Matsumoto