Tap dancing is one of the most recognizable forms of dancing, and one of the most fun to learn. It’s danced using the sound if the shoe hitting the ground in rhythm. Different styles of tap are: post-modern, Broadway, Jazz (rhythm), and classical. The post-modern over the last three decades spotlights a narrative in the routine. Tap has roots in clog dancing Irish jigs and African tribal dances. Vaudeville (a form of variety show) is where the style made its mark, but was seen danced in minstrel shows in the 1800’s. In the 1920’s a chorus line entered the stage wearing tap shoes, which defined the dance.
There are 4 fundamental steps in Tap dancing that any beginner should learn—the shuffle, ball change, single buffalo, step heel, and heel step.
The shuffle: a two-move combo—the brush and the strike. The brush: stand on one leg and bend and lift the opposite leg off the ground. turn both feet outwards without dropping the raised leg. Swinging your foot forward and pointing your foot so the ball (only) brushes the floor. The strike is performed with your leg swinging backwards instead, still making sure to brush the ball of the foot.
The ball change: Feet parallel but not touching. Rise to the balls of your feet, right foot back staying on the ball, simultaneously lifting the left foot from the floor. Rock your weight to the other side and switch feet.
The buffalo: Step on to the ball of your right foot lift the left foot and do a shuffle, return to original position and hop onto the ball of the foot, placing it behind your right foot, and simultaneously lift your right foot into the air in front of you. Bend the right knee out making your toe end on the opposite of your left foot.
Step heel and heel step: the latter places one foot in front of the other bring the heel down first, bringing down the ball of your foot. Repeat with the other foot and do this move for a few feet. The reverse is the step heel, placing the ball of your foot down before the heel.
Tap is a fun and energetic style of dance for beginners.
Arthur Murray is ready to make you move! Dance on in to our location at: 1711 N College Ave, Bloomington, IN 47404, or call us at (812) 334-0553.