The origin of TAP goes far back. Since the moment when men started to appreciate the music, the rhythm he could create with his feet. The African rhythmic dances and folk European dances (Bourree, Gigue, etc.) met in USA. The Irish immigrants danced in wooden shoes (clogs). In the mid-19th century, the softshoe (city shoes) appeared. The wooden shoes turned into leather shoes with iron at each extremity. This was the real birth of modern tap dance.
In the same time, Jazz would become the natural support for tap dance. Many films reflect the public enthusiasm for Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly, or Sammy Davis Jr. and later Gregory Hines. Since the 1970s tap dancing came back into fashion renewed.