Tap centers around the decisions of its lead character, tap dancer Max Washington (Gregory Hines), who has been recently released from prison. Having been incarcerated for burglary, Max has returned to his roots, trying to navigate his new life “on the outside.”
The son of a famous “hoofer”, a skilled tap dancer, he resumes his connection with those involved in his life, pre-crime days, including Little Mo Simms (Sammy Davis, Jr.), who runs the Harlem dance studio Max’s father owned; and Amy (Suzzanne Douglas), his former girlfriend and Little Mo’s daughter. Amy, a professional dancer, teaches to young children, including her son, Louis (Savion Glover), in a dance academy at the studio. Adding to the colorful life Max had when he was celebrated as a tap dance prodigy are seven of his late father’s friends, also hoofers who hang out at the studio.