Tap Dance has always held a special place in the hearts of Just Dance Academy.  When we built the studio, we had Tap Dance in mind by installing our specialized Marley Dance Floor, which aids in both the training, the audible pleasantry of this Broadway dazzling dance.  Heather Walts has extensive Tap Dancing experience in both Studio Instruction and Theatre Performances over many years.   Our Tap Dance lessons are available from beginner to advanced skill levels.

What Is Tap Dance?

Tap Dancing can be either be done with music, and follow the beats provided or without musical accompaniment as an acapella.  It is an exciting dance performed while wearing special dance shoes adorned with metal plating on the toe and heel.   When the dancer(s) move perform a series of toe-heel, toe-toe, or heel-heel point movements the resulting sound creates an exciting musical rhythm, and produces a harmony between the dancers visual movements and musical inclination.   Hoofers are tap dancers who dance primarily with their legs, making a louder, more grounded sound.  This kind of tap dancing, also called “rhythm tap”.  Rhythm Tap came primarily from cities or poor areas where dancers would adorn the bottoms of their shoes with bottle caps to produce musical synergy.   Today this is not the case, especially with such a wide variety of styles spreading throughout the world.  Steve Condos rose out of his humble beginnings in Pittsburgh, PA to become a master in rhythmic tap. His innovative style Common tap steps include such step combinations know as the shuffle, quick ball change, flap, flap heel, cramp-roll, buffalo, Maxi Ford, single and double pullbacks, wings, Cincinnati, the shim sham shimmy (also called the Lindy), Irish, Waltz Clog, the paddle and roll, the para-diddle, stomp, brushes, scuffs, and single and double toe punches, hot steps, heel clicks, single, double and triple time steps, riffs, over-the-tops, military time step, New Yorkers, and chugs. In advanced tap dancing, basic steps are often combined together to create new steps. Time Steps are widely used in tap and can vary in different areas.  These consist of a rhythm that is changed to make new time steps by adding or removing steps.

Tap Dance In American Culture

Steve Condos  influenced the work of Gregory Hines, Savion Glover and Marshall Davis, Jr. The majority of hoofers, such as Sammy Davis, Jr., Savion Glover, Gregory Hines, and LaVaughn Robinson are African American men, although today the art form transcends racial and gender stereotypes.  Savion Glover is the best-known living hoofer, who helped bring tap dance into mainstream media by choreographing and dancing for the major motion picture “Happy Feet”, a film about a tap dancing penguin. Another well-known tap film is 1989′s “Tap”, starring the late Gregory Hines and many of the old-time hoofers.

Early tappers like Fred Astaire provided a more ballroom look to tap dancing, while Gene Kelly used his extensive ballet training to make tap dancing incorporate all the parts of the ballet. This style of tap led to what is today known as “Broadway style,” which is more mainstream in American culture. It often involves high heeled tap shoes and show music, and is usually the type of tap first taught to beginners. The best examples of this style are found in Broadway musicals such as “42nd Street”.