Tips for Tap on Lockdown

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How are you managing with your dance classes at home? First of all, are you doing any classes? It’s really not a crime if you don’t feel like it. Things are pretty weird at the moment. There’s also so much out there online that you can end up feeling huge overwhelm and not doing anything. And that’s ok!

At the beginning of May I bought a double-sided roll-up Home Practice Tap Dance Mat from Dance & Stage. I’m now doing all my live classes in the living room, so my solution is a set of interlocking foam squares, topped with my interlocking dance floor, and then I put the roll up mat on top. It’s great! It’s not slippery, it dulls some of sound and it just feels great to dance on. When I’m doing recorded classes or just jamming, I use my portable wooden tap floor in the garage (which is also on top of foam tiles for shock absorption). It’s really important for your joints that you don’t tap on concrete or tiled floors as there’s none of the shock absorption you usually get from a dance studio sprung floor. Try foam tiles, a rug, or even a blanket or towel underneath a hard surface.

I have all these flooring options at home because I’ve been doing tap for 5 years and am obsessed and decided to invest in creating a home dance studio so I can practice regularly. You might not have any of these flooring options, or you might not be able to tap at home because you’re in a flat/apartment and would be bothering your neighbours…so instead you might want to:

  • Go through the steps in your socks on carpet (a bit of soft shoe!)
  • Do some practice outdoors in trainers on grass or on your cushioned board if you have one (as I said, cement and tarmac will kill your knees)
  • Clap out the rhythms or hum them to cement them in your head (dah-dee-dah-dee-dah-dah!)
  • Building on that last point, have a go at body percussion! (I will try to post a bit of the body percussion that I learnt on Saturday at some point)
  • Do an online musicality class for tap dancers and get up to speed with your quarter notes, triplets and sixteenth notes – I attended a free one by Sarah Reich on Instagram at the weekend
  • Watch loads of amazing tap online to be inspired (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook)
  • Watch the old movie musicals such as Singing in the Rain (1952), An American in Paris (1951), Easter Parade (1948), Broadway Melody of 1940, Stormy Weather (1943)
  • Watch Gregory Hines’ movies White Nights (1985), Tap (1989), The Cotton Club (1984), and Bojangles (2001)
  • Read up on tap dance history

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Make it happen!