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Physics of Tap



I am a dancer and I am always surprised by the crossovers between physics and dance. For example, in tap dancing there is a ton of connections. Whenever I do a shuffle or a buffalo it creates sliding friction which makes the motion easier. Additionally, static friction is created when I do a flap or a time step, the static friction helps to maintain my footing. Newton's third law tells us that all forces come in pairs, so when I exert a force to strike my shoe, the force I exert is equal to the force the dance floor exerts on me. Also, when I want to do a step that is faster my kinetic energy increases as I move across the floor. My tap shoes need to be waxed sometimes in order to may them have less friction which the floor and make motions like turns and leaps easier.


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