The Origins Of American Tap Dancing History Essay. This extended essay is an investigation of the origins of American tap dancing as influenced by the traditional culture of the African slaves brought to America beginning in the 1600s.
Master Juba is often credited as the inventor of tap dancing. William Henry Lane (a.k.a. Master Juba) performed in minstrel shows, which were popular from 1840 until 1890. Up until 1838, only white performers in blackface took part in these shows. When Master Juba began performing, he too was forced to wear blackface -- in order to look like a.