Tap dance classes
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Learn to make music with your feet like a real Broadway star!
Tap dance is suitable for dancers of all ages and levels. Men, women, young, old, fit and not-so-fit, anyone from 2 to 102 years old can learn it! If you’ve never tapped before, you will start with the basics. You will learn the different parts of the tap shoe and the names of the steps. You will learn to control you ankles and hips and get a good workout in the process. This dance style is easy to learn and easy to practice too. You only need a pair of shoes and you’re good to go!
Are you looking for something that’s fun, energetic, lively and uplifting? Do you love old Broadway tunes, jazz and show music? Want to feel like a real star and have audiences cheer and clap for you? Tap dance will be ideal for you!
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The sound of a person tapping against a hard surface with the soles of their feet is almost hypnotic. This dance style that is mostly a reserve of the African American community in the United States has two major variations; Broadway and jazz tap. While the Broadway variation is focused on emphasizing the dance moves, the latter is more inclined to promoting the jazz culture.
Origin of tap dancing
Judging by the prevalence of tap dancing among the African American community in the US, it is evident that they were the original inventors of the dance style. The earliest records of informal communication among the African people indicate that they could communicate with each other using rhythmic drum beats over long distances. Early slave masters of the 16th century restricted the use of drums and other traditional instruments especially in religious ceremonies among the slaves of African origin. Without the beat of an instrument, which was the core of African culture, ceremonies would not be expressive. It was against this background that tap dancing was born. Although the use of the feet to create percussion in musical performances began in the 1600s, it was not until 1928 that the phrase was first used in the print media.
How to tap dance
Rhythm is basically created by tapping the soles and heels of a shoe in a systematic and repetitive manner. While a dancer can produce the rhythm using shoes that are not particularly designed for tap dancing, original dance shoes were either fitted with a metal plate or heavy material to produce distinct taps. Tapping using regular shoes is known as Soft-Shoe tap dancing. To incorporate variation like is possible with other musical instruments, tap dancers are supposed to make chugging, brushing, scooping, and shuffling movements with the feet.
Similarities between tap dancing and clogging
Clogging is a dance style that bears a lot of similarities to tap dancing especially because of the use of shoes to create rhythmic sounds. Having originated from Ireland, clog dancing required the dancers to wear shoes with wooden soles. Unlike in tap dancing however, Irish clogging does not give any thought to moving the upper part of the body. The back and shoulders are kept motionless throughout the dance session. One of the most difficult parts of Irish clogging is playing the jigs and hornpipes which require dancers to make four or five taps in a second.
The idea behind producing music with the soles of the feet is to have heavy soles that produced a sound on tapping. Early tap shoe manufacturers used wood to enhance the soles, but modern tap shoes only have basic leather soles and a removable fix. It is common for male jazz dancers today to spot the oxford shoe while the Mary Jane shoe is popular with young girls in tap classes.