- The rhythmic stamping and tapping of the heels characteristic of Spanish flamenco dances.
- A Spanish flamenco dance in which the performer stamps and taps rhythmically with the heels.
The zapateado is a dance of Mexican Indian 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 was introduced by the natives of Mexico and then taken back to Spain where the Spanish claimed it as their own thus ignoring the true origin of the zapateado.
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 who 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.
click here to see a bit of what it looks and sounds like