Apart from being an essential skill for the professional dancer, tap dance is one of the most enjoyable and rhythmic forms of recreational dance.
Tap turns the dancer into a percussive instrument who accompanies, enhances and experiments with the musicians providing the music. It is therefore essential that the dancer not only looks good through dance technique and training but sounds good with an acute sense of timing and an agility of footwork.
Tap is often thought of as an old fashioned dance form with images of Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Gene Kelly brought to mind. Marvellous and engaging as these tap heroes were there is a much more modern approach now with the influence of shows like “Tap Dogs'”, “Five Guys Named Mo” and “Stomp” and tap is as popular as ever!
The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) offer a series of examinations from Children’s Grades through to professional teaching qualifications. The style reflects the influence of American Tap on British Musical Theatre.
Young Children love the chance to don their ‘Mary Janes’ and create as much noise as possible. Few realise how tricky and intricate the movements are before one can make a reasonable sound. Older children respond with gusto to the uniformity of sound within a group or to the clarity of sound as a soloist. The inner rhythm of the body responds directly to the chosen music or indeed creates it’s own intricate rhythms without music!
Vocational Students (Inter Foundation upwards) develop all of the above with a sense of style and musicality. An intricacy of rhythmic virtuosity and a sense of performance coupled with sound technique and thorough knowledge is expected.
Adult Tap provides fun classes for the more mature. Tap vocabulary is taught and through various exercises, time steps and dance routines, the body and mind are kept fit! Accompanied by various musical styles (and a bit of puffing and panting), stamina is built up and a sense of style and performance is achieved.