Image courtesy of U.S. Postal Service (306478)

Last Saturday, the U.S. Postal Service unveiled its new Tap Dance Forever Stamps in Times Square.

The stamps showcase five photographs of a different tap dancer performing their craft against a brightly colored background that highlights the dancer’s shaping and movement. The photographs were taken by Matthew Murphy and the stamps were designed by art director Ethel Kessler.

The ceremony was held in conjunction with the Tap It Out, Tap City, New York City Tap Festival, which was held July 5 through July 10.

Tap dancing has its roots in Africa and was intertwined with the rapid footwork of the Irish jig and the percussion of English clog dancing. Tap has grown into a significant art form as a major American contribution to world dance. It continues to evolve through influences from jazz and hip hop.