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The zapateado is a dance of Spanish origin characterized by a lively rhythm punctuated by the striking of the dancer's shoes, akin to tap dance. The name derives from the Spanish word zapato for "shoe": zapatear means to strike with a shoe.

The dance is also popular in various countries of Latin America.

The term is also used to refer to percussive footwork in some Spanish/Latin dances that involve elaborate shoe clicking and tapping and to the percussion music produced by shoe striking.

Among the composers to write Spanish Zapateados is Paco de Lucía, whose Percusión Flamenca is a very popular piece for guitar and orchestra. Also Pablo de Sarasate, whose opus 23, no. 2 is a version of the dance scored for violin and piano. The piece is full of harmonics, double stops, left hand pizzicato and is often performed by young virtuosos.


  • David Ewen, Encyclopedia of Concert Music.


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