Back | Next

SR Records On Stage | Tap

Easy Tap Dance
Hiroshi Kasai

I found this book at a used book shop in Tokyo by chance a few years ago and truth be told, there is nothing really special to say about it. Yasashii Tap Dance which means Easy Tap Dance was written by Hiroshi Kasai and published by Narumido-Shuppan in 1987. It's a very typical instruction book but doesn't it just take you back to the 80's?

What caught my eye with this book was the cover. I really mean the outfits on those models. When I started studying tap dance in the early 80's, movie hits like Stayin' Alive, Fame and Flash Dance were filling previously quiet dance studios with female students happy to wear colorful leotards and leg warmers like those in the movies. These styles were as popular in tap classes as anywhere and this little book offers a small historical window into the studio scene in Japan twenty years ago.

Of course in the 90's the scene changed and Hip-Hop took the lead. Suddenly leotards, high heel tap shoes and the body lines themselves all disappeared, replaced by loose T-shirts and baggy pants. I guess I just hadn't paid much attention before, but when I found this book I realized how much the fashion has changed.

Personally, I prefer the Ann Miller style featured next in the print gallery, here at Tap Wonderland.

The author of Easy Tap Dance, Mr. Hiroshi Kasai has written several book on dance, all in Japanese, of course. He studied law, but eventually went to the US to study dance -- Jazz, Disco, Tap, even Break Dance. When he returned to Japan he opened a dance studio specializing in disco styles and social dancing. His studio in Harajuku, Tokyo is still open.

— Shinichi Matsumoto