You may be a full time dance student or you may only have an hour of tap class a week (like me), so you have to find a way to make the most of what you have:
- Pay attention in class! That’s right. Listen to what your teacher is saying and watch the demonstrations closely.
- Learn from others who are more experienced or seem to know what they’re doing.
- Ask questions when you have the opportunity. This is usually at the end of the class, but you may have opportunity during the class too (e.g. What is this step called? Which leg are we starting on? Who is your favourite tap dancer?! etc.)
- Take the opportunity to film the routine or combination if given. Then you can become more familiar with it and practice outside of class. It helps to visualise even if you can’t physically do the steps for whatever reason, e.g. You’re on public transport or your leg is in plaster…
- Practice as soon as you are able after your class just so it doesn’t escape your brain straight away!
- Practice daily! Even if it’s only 5 minutes in the corridor at work. It helps cement things and keeps the muscle memory alive, so to speak.
- Download or listen the track you’re using so you can familiarise yourself with the music, and any unusual rhythms it may have.
- Take away one thing you can work on for next time. If you load yourself up with too many things to improve, you might stress yourself out and improve nothing.
Other general advice:
- Watch tap dance online
- Get to your classes early
- Go to classes regularly
- Read up on tap history
- Watch tap shows at the theatre if you can
- Read up on tap terms. Some steps have different names to what you’re used to (slurp vs closed third)
- Attend workshops and festivals to try new stuff and meet other tappers
- Follow tap dancers on social media
- Join tap dance social media groups
What do you think?
I made a resolution this year to write a list of things I want to know and then try to ask my teacher a question every week, but sometimes I forget or chicken out 🙂
(We’re currently on a 2 week break from rhythm tap class, but I’m managing to keep up with my weekly workouts at the gym!)