Today marks the 22nd annual National Tap Dance Day, as well as the 134th birthday of tap dancing legend Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. In fact, May 25th was chosen in honor of Bojangles' birthday. For many of us, tap dancing may recall our dance class days as rhythmically challenged youths in bedazzled unitards and big hair. But the tap dancing we see today only became that way after more than a century of dancing evolution.
Tap has its roots in North American folk dance (namely clogging), Irish step dancing, and African American juba dance. It was an early fixture in minstrel shows, and later very popular as a vaudeville act. The popularity of more traditional tap dance faded with the end of vaudeville in the 1930's, as it moved onto the silver screen, where people like Fred Astaire helped to optimize tap choreography for films. Later, Paul Draper combined tap and ballet while African Americans in jazz clubs created a branch that stressed rhythm and musicality. Tap dance popularity declined in the 1960s, experienced a renaissance in the 1970s and remains a staple today in musical theater and high culture, among other areas of the arts.
Other tap dance giants through the ages include Gene Kelly, Sammy Davis Jr., Eleanor Powell, the Nicholas brothers, Gregory Hines and Savion Glover.
Today, tap dancing enthralls subway commuters, helps pay for college and even helps people reclaim their self-esteem and happiness.
Whether it's been decades or minutes since you last strapped on a pair of those shiny iconic tap shoes, or you've never touched a pair in your life, take a couple minutes today to celebrate this uniquely American and historic dance form.
We've put together a list of a our favorite tap dancing legends doing what they do best, as well as dance photos from the HuffPost community.
Now it's your turn to show us your moves—we'd love to see pictures from your tap dance glory days! Show us your best homage to tap.
1935 - Bill "Bojangles" Robinson
The legendary Bojangles shows Shirley Temple how it's done in a scene from "The Little Colonel."
1942 - Eleanor Powell
From the movie Ship Ahoy. The tap dancing (and occasionally gymnastic) madness begins at 1:30.
1943 - The Nicholas Brothers
From the movie "Stormy Weather." Come for the obscene tap dancing prowess, stay for the leap frog splits down the stairs. (Seriously.)
1946 - Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire puts on the Ritz in the film "Blue Skies."
1952 - Gene Kelly
The famous, dancing in the rain scene from "Singin' in the Rain."
1961 - Lionel Blair and Sammy Davis Jr.
Lionel Blair and Sammy Davis Jr. perform together in a variety show.
1985 - Gregory Hines
Gregory Hines tap dances solo in the movie "White Nights."
1998 - Savion Glover
Savion Glover and his company NYOTs (Not Your Ordinary Tappers) perform at the White House.
Featuring the Lord of the Dance himself. Though Irish step dancing is a separate art form from American tap dance, it was certainly an influence in the development of tap.
A vibrant modern dance photo from Sussy Cunill.
Sarah Dille's daughter hams it up for the camera.
Katie Beardsley looking fabulous in tulle and sequins.
HuffPost Blogger Logan shows us this homage to tap dancing.
Gene Kelly - It's Always Fair Weather
In one of the least known but deepest looking of Kelly's musicals, he gets one of his most impressive solos. Tap dancing on roller skates to the Comden and Green/Andre Previn tune "I Like Myself", Kelly once again demonstrates to all those planks on TV ballroom dancing shows just what it should look like.
Huff Post reader Eric Badique (far right)
Huff Post reader Janina's Ava Cantrell
The Red Hot Mamas
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Louise_Rastu"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/images/profile/user_placeholder.gif" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Louise_Rastu">Louise Rastu</a>:<br />The Red Hot Mamas Unique Senior Tap Dance Company, ages 54-82, Singin' in the Rain. Photo by Michael Fairchild
The Step Sistas
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Louise_Rastu"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/images/profile/user_placeholder.gif" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Louise_Rastu">Louise Rastu</a>:<br />The Step Sistas, directed by Louise Rastu, are a terrific group of adult dancers ages 50-67. Most of them only started tap dancing about 5 years ago. They perfom for Nursing Homes and community centers.
The Red Hot Mamas Unique Senior Performing Tap Dance Company
Repertoire of professional choreographed routines by Co-Directors Louise Rastu, Toni Wortman and guest choreographer, Sandi Bloomberg.