Theatre & Dance ETDs

Publication Date



Toe-tap is an extreme form of tap dancing. As related to both American ballet and tap dance history, this style has been widely forgotten. Noisy Feet: The Forgotten Click of American Toe-Tap, 1925-1935' is the beginning of an effort to include toe-tap in dance history, acknowledging toe-tap's questionable relationship to ballet. The work investigates the state of American ballet before the arrival of the Ballets Russes and explores innovations of pointe, tap, and toe-tap shoes by theatrical shoe makers. It defines the style of toe-tap and provides choreographic analyses of toe-tap pieces, examines the lives and careers of individual toe-tappers, and discusses the importance of toe-tap as it relates to novelty and economics during this time period. This thesis draws extensively from primary source materials, including historic newspapers, patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and film clips from Hollywood, including newsreels, short films, and full-length features.

Degree Name

Theatre & Dance

Level of Degree


Department Name

Theatre & Dance

First Committee Member (Chair)

Chazin-Bennahum, Judith

Second Committee Member

Reche, Vladimir Conde




Tap dancing -- United States -- History -- 20th Century

Document Type