Monday, August 13, 2012

The Shim Sham Shimmy

A student of mine asked me about the roots of the Shim Sham the other day and she had a bit of confusing knowledge about it. So here is what I know about the Shim Sham Shimmy...
The Shim Sham is a tap dance routine that was created in the late 1920s by Willie Bryant and Leonard Reed, who first named it Goofus. The dance steps became quite popular and eventually made it to a show in the New York night club "Shim Sham Club" where the Shim Sham routine further developed. 
Just like most standard swing tunes in the aaba structure The Shim Sham has four parts each 8 bars long (6 bars followed by a 2 bar break). So the whole dance reflects a 32 bar tune in the same structure. 
The 4 parts are : 1. Shim Sham, 2. The cross over , 3. Tack Annie, 4. Half break. 
Since the dance has always been very popular among tap and also swing dancers, there are many many different variations of this dance. It is considered the "national anthem" of tap dance.

Here is a youtube clip of my students perforiming the Shim Sham.....


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