Selva Vintage Tap Collection
My single Yoshinoya toe tap sent me down a little tangent in my tap gear collecting. Today, most tap dancers use Capezio taps, I guess, and few dancers give much thought to the history of the taps themselves. Tap Dancing has been around a long time, and as we know, it has had several cycles when the popularity has either waxed or waned. Surely there must have been many different fabricators of taps around the world over all these years. My teacher, Stanley Kahn, once told me that he used to use "Morgan" taps, but I have never seen one. I have tried to find truly old tap shoes in flea markets, thrift shops and internet auctions but without much success.
One time I found a boxful of old taps on eBay, of course. Most were made under the Selva brand name. The graphics on these boxes are all quite charming and very 1950s.
Each tap is stamped with the company name and the designation "SuperTap". My collection now includes 17 boxes with men's taps sets and also taps for women's high heels.
With the help of the Internet I found a great site that filled in the blanks about Selva and Capezio and all my taps. It's called The Perfect Pointe and it deals mostly with ballet information. Here's an important little quote from that site:
Selva was founded by a man by the name of James Salvaggio, otherwise known as Jimmy Selva, who worked for Capezio until 1925 when left Capezio and started Selva and Sons-- the makers of the Selva pointe shoe. Capezio bought the Selva name in 1970 and retired everything except some specialized products like taps.
I guess this is why so many of us buy Selva Staccato taps from Capezio today.
— Shinichi Matsumoto