Tap dance is characterized by using the metal at the bottom of the toe and heel of tap shoes to strike the floor in different patterns. By doing this the dancer creates rhythms and phrases with the sound coming from their shoes. An experienced tap dancer becomes not only a dancer but also a percussionist/musician at the same time.
There are two major variations in the field of tap dancing:
- Rhythm Tap
- Broadway Tap
Broadway focuses more on the placement of the upper body and is much more theatrical in its performance style. (We focus on this tap dancing technique in our new EA Musical Theater program.)
Rhythm focuses more on musicality, improvisation and intricate footwork patterns. (We focus mainly on this technique in our Academy and CC/EA tap classes.)
Beginning/ Level 1 & 2
Students will learn fundamental steps and basic vocabulary through across the floor exercises, center floor exercises, and by learning pieces of choreography. They will learn how to properly execute their tap skills with a lot of repetition and technical drills. The students' goals at these levels are to be able to make every sound of each tap step precisely and clearly, and to be able to retain choreography from week to week. They should also begin working on having a good ear for timing and having good musicality when tapping to music.
Intermediate/ Level 3
At these levels all of the fundamental steps that they have learned and skills they have acquired are explored deeper by learning more advanced and intricate variations. The student should be able to execute all skills proficiently at these levels and should be able to perform longer and more difficult pieces of choreography. A new skill that will be introduced at these levels is Improvisation. They will learn to improvise by doing many activities that will test their ability to keep time and think freely on the spot. Students at these levels should have good musicality and the ability to move their feet at a more rapid pace while remaining precise with their footwork.