Back | Next

Capezio Tap Master Mat | Advertising Collectible, ca. 1930's

Basic Tap Dancing
Diana Washbourne

This little book is not really a vintage collectible like many featured in the Tap wonderland print gallery. It is not very old, originally published in 1979 in the UK and in 1981 in the US. It is a typical tap dance manual, as its title implies and it covers routine topics like music for tap dancing and practice, how to warm up, a little about shoes, basic steps and what to wear for tap dancing. It's not a very big book, but there are 175 pictures that accompany the instruction in various standard tap steps. That must have been a lot of work, taking all those photos. So, this book opens a window back to the tap scene in the UK, 25-30 years ago.

In so many of these pictures the dancers are wearing leotards. Many tap dancers wore leotards in class at the time this book was published, the early 80’s and into the 90’s, too. There was a mini jazz dance boom in Japan at that time following the release and success of the movie Flash Dance. Just take a look at this book in our collection, Easy Tap Dance by Hiroshi Kasai. This style is all gone now. Nobody wears leotards anymore in tap classes. Ballet maybe, but not tap.

Here is profile of Diana Washbourne.

"Diana Washbourne started her dancing career at the age of 31/2 at the Glenlyn Stage School in London, where she is now the principal. Her experience teaching in a primary school has proved invaluable in running her own dancing school, where over two hundred pupils of all ages, from 3 to 50 years old, are prepared for the final dancing teachers' examinations set by the different dancing associations in Great Britain. Ms. Washbourne is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Dancing in England and an affiliated member of the International Dance Teachers Association."

Since first posting this page in November, 2005, it has averaged about three visitors a month from individuals searching for information about Diana Washbourne on various search engines. Ms. Washbourne has fans out there.

— Shinichi Matsumoto