U.S. Postal Service puts the taps back on Broadway


“Today we celebrate the American art form of tap dancing with these vibrant stamps in the heart of Times Square as the Postal Service recognizes one of our country’s greatest contributions to the world of dance,” said Lorraine G. Castellano, US Postal Service New York District Director and Executive Officer.

The American Tap Dance Foundation Inc. joined Castellano to dedicate the stamps. Artistic Director and Founding Executive Tony waag; tap dancers Ayodele Casel, Michela Marino Lerman and Max Pollak; and stamp photographer Matthieu murphy.

“I’m so happy that people can use these new tap dance stamps on their cards and letters because they truly represent this American art form,” Waag said. “For over 40 years, I have been dedicated to promoting tap dancing as a form of serous expression, so I am extremely proud that the Postal Service is spreading the word about this art by issuing these dynamic stamps.”


Historians trace the deep roots of tap dancing to the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade, particularly to contact between enslaved Africans and Irish and Scottish indentured servants on Caribbean plantations in the 1600s. In colonial America, a wide range of dance elements of African origin – including a relaxed torso, hip movement, improvisation, the use of the body as a percussion instrument and the rhythmic mixing, the gliding or sliding of the feet – mingled with the fast footwork. Irish jig and English hoof dance percussion.

Whether cultures mingled in the rural south or in overcrowded urban neighborhoods, the result was a budding new set of hybrid dance forms based on a skillful and ever-evolving combination of movement and sound.

By the 1920s, the tap as we know it had fully emerged and was popular on the Broadway stage. During the 1930s and 1940s, films tended to showcase white dancers typing in a choreographed style that showed the influence of dance schools, while African American dancers were more likely to be seen in a more improvised style with rhythms influenced by jazz. . In the 1950s interest in tap dancing waned, but by the 1970s aspiring tap dancers were looking to their elders and learning from their skills and experience.

As young dancers from diverse backgrounds have returned to studying tap dancing, new generations of professionals have imbued tap dancing with influences from jazz and hip hop to express their own personalities and experiences. From its roots in popular entertainment, tap dancing has become an important art form hailed as a major American contribution to global dance.

As it evolves, the faucet will be equally at home in the most prestigious performance venues as it will on the streets, drawing on tradition while remaining fresh with the infusion of new cultural influences.

Artistic director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps from photos taken by the photographer Matthieu murphy.

The story behind the stamps will also be featured on the U.S. Postal Service Facebook and Twitter pages, publication on 2 p.m. ET. An illustrated postmark of the city designated for the first day of issue, New York, New York State, is available on usps.com/shopstamps.

Tap stamps are issued as Forever stamps in increments of 20. These Forever stamps will always have a value equal to the current price of 1 ounce First Class Mail.

Postal products

Customers can purchase stamps and other philatelic products through the postal store at usps.com/shopstamps, by calling 844-737-7826, by mail at United States Philatelic, or at post offices across the country.

The Postal Service generally does not receive tax money for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to finance its operations.

Please note: For US Postal Service media resources, including broadcast-quality video, audio, and photo images, visit USPS Newsroom. follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Subscribe to USPS YouTube Channel, like us on Facebook and take advantage of our Postal Articles Blog. For more information on the postal service, visit usps.com and faits.usps.com.

National contact: David P. Coleman
c: 202-425-1476
[email protected]

Local contact: Amy gibbs
phone: 347-668-6709
[email protected]

SOURCE U.S. Postal Service

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