Percussive Dance Around the World

17 March 2016 | ARTICLE


Today we’re taking a look at percussive dance styles around the world, many of which have similarities to STOMP. Have you ever seen any percussive dance? Come and see some live in London at STOMP!

Step Dance

Step Dance refers to dance styles that focus on footwork as the key element of the dance.  Examples include Tap & Clog dancing.

Clog Dance

In Clog dances, the performers wear wooden shoes called clogs which make percussive sounds on the hard floor. There are many different types of Clog dance, with the most famous being the British Clog dance, Morris dance and traditional Dutch dance style, Klompendasen.

Tap Dance

Arguably one of the most famous styles of percussive dance, Tap dance evolved out of a fusion of African tribal dances, Clog dances and jigs. Beginning in the mid-1800s, Tap dance began from the rise of Minstrel shows with William Henry Lane being one of the first dancers to adapt the style. Tap is now widely used in musical theatre as well as a performance dance in its own right.


The African-American dance style, Stepping, uses a combination of body percussion, break dance, tap dance and traditional African and Caribbean dance styles. Often performed in groups, the performers mix rhythms and sounds with dance and stunts. Some forms of Stepping use props such as rhythm sticks, canes and blindfolds.


Gumboot dance originated out of South African mines as an alternative to drumming and a form of communication in the mines as well as entertainment. Dancers wear wellington boots and use these to create intricate rhythms and percussion. There is a notable element of humour in the style as many of the dancers used Gumboot as a way to parody the officers and guards controlling the gold mines. Today, Gumboot is danced in the streets in South Africa for tourists as well as taught in schools around the world in music lessons.

Body percussion

There are many other forms of body percussion dance around the world incorporating elements of different cultural dances with sound. Some examples include Ethiopian armpit music, Flamenco, Indonesian Saman and American Juba Dance.

Trash percussion

The style used in STOMP could be described as Trash Percussion. This is a combination of body percussion alongside non-traditional instruments such as dustbins, trolleys and newspapers.


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