Looking for the perfect gift for a tap dancer? Well, being the action taker that you are, you have come to the right place!!!
I love tap dancing! In fact, I was an excellent tap dancer when I was younger (still pretty good today!!). I aced all my tap dance exams including my student teacher tap exam and even beat more than 20 other entrants in a tap championship once, scoring this awesome trophy that was half my height (only to realize I had to give it back after a year for the next winner – but at least I got a small replacement and my name forever on that massive thing!) So I know a thing or two about what tap dancers need and want and now that my 5-year-old has just started tap dance classes – like Celine Dion sings – ‘it’s all coming back to me now!’
Before you begin, I just need to tell you that this post includes what are called affiliate links. An affiliate link means that if you purchase a product I have linked to on this page, I receive a small monetary kickback. This money is a small portion of income that helps me produce informative and helpful pages like this one as well as all the others on this site and I appreciate you using the links as you are helping to make Dance Parent 101 the ultimate resource for parents, dancers and their families! You are awesome!
What Tap Dancers Need!!!
Ok, so the first item on this list really should be a pair of tap shoes. But they should not be a click and send purchase. If you do want to gift tap shoes to a tap dancer, take your dancer into your local dance store and get a pair professionally fitted so that they have the perfect pair for them!
The first item on this list is a total necessity and not enough tap dancers have one of them in their dance bag so please do them a favor and get them one!!! Click on the heading to be taken to our resource page with more details and reviews or click the photos to go straight to the website to purchase.
1. A Screw Driver
Did you know that the metal plate on the bottom of a tap shoe is held on with screws? Did you know that because of the vibrations made through tap dancing that the screws slowly loosen and that when this happens several disastrous things can happen! The first and worst being the screws can scratch and scrape flooring leaving permanent gouges that need to be filled in! The second being over time the holes in which the screws are held wear away and become too large and the screws fall out. A tap dancer should always keep a small screwdriver or a multipurpose tool in their bag and consistently check the screws on their shoes to maintain and tighten them as needed. Not only is this multipurpose tool and screwdriver set cute, but they are also functional and perfect to keep in a tap dancers bag – you can choose a different color depending on your dancer.
I had one mom at our dance studio tell me she pulled her daughter out of tap dance class because her daughter came home and scratched the floors with her tap shoes. Now as a tap dancer my first thought was – why on earth did you check that the screws were in flush and flat first, but then I remembered that I was being THAT judgy dance mom and that this was her first experience with tap shoes and so I bit my tongue and thought about how I should really write an article for parents about that on this site. So the moral of the story is to help tap dancers practice at home and not scratch up permanent flooring, buy them a portable dance floor to practice on! It makes an excellent choice for a birthday or Christmas gift especially for the kid or adult who already has EVERYTHING!!!
3. Spare Tap Shoe Screws
Now these are not easy things to come by and this one is not an affiliate link because not many shops sell them, but I feel tap shoe screws are an important must-have for any tap dancer! Just like I mentioned when writing about the screw driver, tap shoe screws tend to loosen over time and one might even fall out. Because they are so small are easy to lose having a small back up stash is essential!
4. Spare laces
Not all tap shoes are made the same. Some have a buckle and I’ll get to a quick solution for a broken one soon, but many especially boys tap shoes have shoelaces. Now, most shoelaces these days are fairly sturdy, but they do break with use over time and it is so annoying when the plastic covers come off the end and they start to fray. So having a spare pair of laces is important. The other thing to note, is that tap shoes don’t have flat laces like trainers or running shoes, they have shorter round ones like dress shoes do so replacing them is not always as easy as just grabbing a packet from a department or grocery store, therefore having a stash can be super helpful for any tap dancer with laced shoes.
5. To know the History of Tap Dance
Any serious tap dancer needs to know where their beloved art form came from and so having a good book that follows the history of the craft is a must. This one by Brian Seibert is highly recommended because of the depth and breadth of the research and history it covers!
6. Gaffa Tape
Now I said I would have a solution for a broken buckle or even broken shoe strap and this is it. Basically, if your buckle or strap is broken on a tap shoe you will need to go and get it fixed by a shoe repairer, but if it happens just before class or before you go on stage you could try wrapping the two ends in several layers of gaffa tape to keep them together. So having a little roll of this stuff at the bottom of a dance bag can be very handy! I like this Eden brand as you can get it in black, tan and white great colors to match tap shoes.
7. Crazy Super Glue
Ok so this is not an ideal or perfect solution, but it is a quick fixer that might get a tap dancer out of a jam! And I know this from experience…. The night before a dance recital, the heel of my tap shoe came off! That’s right, straight off. Now, this wouldn’t have been so much of a problem as I also had heeled character shoes (you use these for jazz or Broadway-style dance) which did not have taps, but look like tap shoes, but for this particular concert my character shoes had been sprayed black, and my tap shoes were camel or tan color to go with each costume! So my dad got out the super sticky super glue stuck my shoe together with a clamp and left it overnight and it worked!!! I did dance very gently on that foot but it helps up for the recital and actually for several weeks of classes after that – you see I loved these shoes, they were worn in just the right amount. So glue for sticky situations for tap dancers is a must!
30 more gift ideas that a tap dancer will use and want!
So that was five items I believe every tap dancer needs and you could put most of the items above with some that I am going to write about below into a gift basket and create a personalized gift. The following items, tap dancers don’t NEED but they are extremely helpful or are just nice things that a tap dancer will use and be grateful for receiving. So let’s get on with the list!!!
A Dance Bag
Every tap dancer needs a bag to carry not only their tap shoes, but all the other tools I mentioned earlier that a tap dancer needs to have. I really like these bags as they come in several colors that are great for both girls and boys and can be personalized with your dancer’s name on the side!
Odor Eliminating/Freshener sachets or bags
Let’s face it, when tap shoes are used regularly they can start to get a little funky smelling and so simply using an odor-eliminating charcoal bag which you can either slip into the actual shoes or just chuck into a dance bag can help to leave tap shoes fresh and inviting for their next use!
A drink bottle
I love this tap water drink bottle! It is a clever play on words and makes me smile when I read it. You could also DIY something like this with a plain drink bottle and a permanent sharpie texta. And there are other options like this metal bottle you can buy as well!
Tap dancing puts calf, shin, ankle and feet muscles through a thorough workout and their overuse through consistent practice can create tenderness or soreness in the muscles and tendons of the feet and legs. Compression wear has been shown to help circulate the blood promoting faster healing and recovery when worn before or after activity and even when worn overnight depending on when an individual feels the best results. Therefore investing in some compression wear for your tap dancer’s legs could leave them tapping for joy! For more options click here for our resource page!
Again to help ease those achy muscles a good supply of Epsom salts, to throw in the bath could help a tap dancer relax and release all the tension after a hard rehearsal or performance. This gift set from Village Therapy has bath salts as well as some other goodies for muscle aches and pains making a great gift set for a tap dancer!
Tap dancers are prone to getting tight calf muscles and achy feet. Foam rollers are great as they help to release tension at a deep level within the muscles and improve the blood circulation so they are not only great to use as part of a warm-up routine but also during cool down or for when a tap dancer just needs to roll or rub out some tension in their muscles.
Keeping ankles and feet all warmed up and supple is important in preventing injuries in tap dancing and so wearing a pari of warm up boots before a lesson can help keep all those muscles and joints toatsy and warm especially if you live in a colder climate or have extremely cold winters.
Heated slippers are heaven for a tap dancers feet. Not only are they useful before a class to help feet warm up especially if you live somewhere it snows, but they can also be used after class to relax the muscles and relieve tension.
A Home Foot Spa
After a hard long day of rehearsals or classes what tap dancer wouldn’t love to come home and soak their feet in a warm bubbly, massaging foot spa!
A Foot Massager
Or for something a bit special, why not get your tap dancer a foot massager so they can feel the tension and knots just melt away!
Stretch and Resistance Bands
A resistance band is great for helping to strengthen and develop the muscles needed in tap dancing within the feet and ankles. This set comes with both a resistance band and a stretch band as tap dancers also need to improve their flexibility to be the best dancers they can be.
Tap Dance T Shirt
The trusty t-shirt is always a winner especially when it has some witty tap-dancing quote or words on it.
Tap Dance Charm Bracelet
Tap Shoe Necklace
Sterling Silver Tap Shoe Charm by itself to put on an existing necklace or charm bracelet
An 18k yellow gold tap dance pendant for a necklace
A Tap Inspired Pin or Brooch
Tap Dance Inspired Key Chain
Tap Dance Pillow for the lounge or bed
Tap Dance Travel Pillow with Memory Foam
Tap Shoe Bed Covers
Tap Dance Bed Sheets
Tap Dance Posters
Tap Dance Stickers for Cars and Wall Decals
Tap Dance Christmas Tree Ornaments
Tap Dance Tech Gear
Tickets to a Tap Dance Performance
Most tap dancers would love to go and see a live show that had lots of tap dancing in it. There are various tap groups out there that perform such as the ‘Tap Dog’ or the ‘Syncopated Ladies’ so do a google search and see what you can find. You could also even look at going to another dance schools performance if you can’t find a professional production to buy tickets to.
Tickets to a Master Class, Intensive or lesson at a school they wouldn’t normally go to!
Any serious tap dancer would love the opportunity to develop their skills by attending a master class taught by one of the best. Intensives and conventions are another option and are generally held over several days like a camp. Or lastly maybe you could make all the preparations and arrangements for them to go to a class at one of the best schools in your state, for example, The Broadway Dance Centre in New York offers weekly casual classes with some of the best teachers in the US!
A DVD about Tap Dancing
There are lots of movies especially from the early era of movie making – think Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that a Tap Dancer would love to get. Most DVDs are becoming harder and harder to buy and instead you can rent them through a service such as Prime Video, so this might be a gift for the tap dancer who lives in your home. But some tap dancing movies to look out for are (just check the rating as some advise parental guidance).
Lucky Last – The Mug or Coffee Cup
SOME BONUS DIY IDEA FROM PINTEREST!!!
Oh and I saw this!!!
I am not affiliated to the following in any way currently I just saw this bronzing service advertised and thought it was a neat idea!