Our tap classes start at age 7 and older. It is the Academy’s opinion (based on scientific studies) that children should not be introduced to the strenuous nature of tap (or ballet, or jazz) until then because younger than that, their little bodies, bones, and muscles are not ready to handle the precise movements. Our student’s safety and well-
Beginner Levels introduce the fundamental traditional steps of tap with an emphasis on developing proper technique (including balancing and turning). Students not studying other dance disciplined must understand basic weight changes and correct body placement. Exercises and dances in the beginner levels consist of simple structures at slower tempos to co-
. Intermediate Levels expand the vocabulary of steps/exercises and structures become more complex. A variety of music styles are introduced, there is less repetition, and tempos increase. There is a reinforcement to develop clean sounds and proper body placement. A cappella work and style is introduced and individual counting. Students begin to focus on phrasing and “sung” rhythm.
Advanced Levels, they are ready to be introduced to improvisation. the focus continues to be placed on clarity of sound and the student focuses on tap dynamics. Steps increase in difficulty, attention is given to directional changes and traveling within the framework of the rhythm, complex turns and increased vocabulary are learned. Dancers at the higher level s are usually proficient in other dance forms and have the ability to assimilate rhythms, style and dynamics of short sequences and longer combinations with the utmost speed. There is an emphasis on “flash” steps and developing greater technique, speed and diversity of styles.
Tap dancing is a style of American theatrical dancing distinguished by percussive footwork that marks out precise rhythmic patterns on the floor. Tap was born out of the Irish solo step dance, the English Clog dance, and African dance movements. The history of tap dance is the history of tap improvisation and creativity. Influential tap dancers did not just execute the steps of others, they expanded on ideas already developed, or they came up with entirely new idea through improvisation or choreography. In the beginning, tap dancers were called “hoofers” because they focused primarily on the rhythms and syncopated music of their feet. Metal taps weren’t added until the 1920’s. Other tap creators melded complex foot rhythms with different styles of movement and music to originate new forms. Paul Draper, in the 1930’s, created what was to be known as “ballet tap”. Fred Astaire, probably the most famous tap dancer, developed a new amalgamate style of dance, cool and debonair, which combined the full body movements of ballet, the romantic grace of ballroom dance, the syncopated sound of tap dance, and the percussiveness of jazz dance. Recently, tap has evolved further into what we see in “Stomp”, “Tap Dogs”, and “Riverdance”.
The Academy of Expressive Dance follows the Canadian Teacher’s Association tap syllabus and tap terminology. Please see our dress code information sheet on what you will require for your level of class
Tap class always begins with a pre-
The Academy of Expressive Dance
316 Latimer Road,
South Mountain, ON K0E 1W0
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