Get A Summer Tap Dance Intensive Absolutely FREE

16 Jun
Shawn Byfield tap shoes. Byfield Dance Experience - Toronto

Click to visit Tap Dance Intensive webpage

Get A Summer Tap Dance Intensive Absolutely FREE

Tap dance lovers! This summer, August 23rd to August 27th, I’ll be hosting my 2nd official Toronto Tap Dance Intensive. It’ll be an intense, foot-pounding, brain-melting 5 days of tap dance designed for the serious, mature hoofer age 16 and older.

I love tap. And I know you do too.

So to celebrate our love for this art form AND the 2nd year of this program, I’m holding a contest. And because I’m crazy for tap, I’m literally giving away not one, but TWO spots to the intensive- a $498 value EACH. That’s a thousand bucks worth of great tap dance training.

Wanna Win? Here’s The 3 Simple Rules:

  1. Visit the Tap Dance Intensive webpage to see what you’ll get by participating.
  2. Come back HERE to this blog post.
  3. In AT LEAST 100 words, discuss WHY you feel this tap dance summer program could really benefit you.

All comments must be posted by midnight, Wednesday June 30th to be eligible. Winners will be announced on Canada Day. Must be age 16 and older to apply.

Please note: Hurry! I am only accepting the first 24 people who register. So if you don’t want to miss this summer’s tap dance program and don’t wan to take any chances, be sure to sign up NOW (especially before the HST kicks in.)

And don’t worry- if you reserve your spot during the contest (or have already done so), you’ll be refunded instantly if you win.

Break a leg!

– SB


Congratulations to:

– Marie Yap

– Catherine Hammel

You both won a FREE Tap Dance Intensive this summer at BDX in Toronto!

And excellent, well written responses from ALL of you that participated in the contest. Glad you love tap just as much as I do.


As a special thank you for simply entering the contest, the remaining six of you that entered the contest will each receive $100 off the cost of this summer’s tap dance program. You’ll receive a credit from me personally after you sign up:

See? It pays to participate. Literally. Congratulations everyone!

– Shawn B

9 Responses to “Get A Summer Tap Dance Intensive Absolutely FREE”

  1. Marie Yap June 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    Shawn’s tap intensive is going to benefit me in many ways. I was one of the victims – joking.. I was one of the lucky students in Shawns tap intensive 2 years ago. I sweat, I blistered, I was sore… but most of all, I loved. I have been dancing my whole life, and have always loved it. But this intensive instilled a whole new sense of positivity and strength within me. I grew SO much within this one week. I felt pain every one of those days at that studio, but looking back – and even then – it was more than worth it. When I think about that week, I don’t cry from the pain I went through, but how good it felt to put myself through that pain, and the results it gave me. I can never thank Shawn enough. In fact, I can’t thank myself for getting myself involved and pushing myself to do it. Because as much drive as I always thought I had, it was never enough. And even though I believe I can always push more, Shawns intensive pushed me that much closer to where I needed to be.

    Since then, though, I have not been tapping as much as I would like to… I’m not going to blame it all on money, but at the same time..I can’t escape the fact that dance training costs money. And I’ve been having issues in that area since then (because since Shawn’s intensive, I was motivated and registered for many many pricey programs.) I am a full-time university student, my family doesn’t have a lot of money, and I SUCK at keeping my financials straight. Only now am I learning how to keep them in line, but it is taking forever for me to get where I want to be financially, and am therefore having a rough time finding the time to work and save and go to school, AND dance. (some people know how to balance all of that, but I am still learning). And truly, I do believe money should NOT stop a dancer from loving dance. And I haven’t stopped loving it. I dance whenever I can. Performing in charity shows, teaching, and volunteering when I can find the time. But I haven’t had the money to train. As important as dance is to me, I do not make enough money to train as much as I’d like to, nor do I find it easy to find time to commute to training grounds. All my days are taken up by school, and work, and only can I DREAM of dancing my butt off… yet somehow, I am still not doing super well in school, nor am I making enough money. Balance is tough – something I am learning.

    What’s worse is that during this, what feels like a, hiatus of (tap) dancing, I’ve felt a slight loss of motivation. I still feel that strong DESIRE, but when you are out of practice, that adrenaline of motivation and drive, as well as self-confidence, slowly dies. It’s in me, I know it is. Shawn’s intensive brought it out, and I continued it the rest of that year the best I could. And it felt frickin’ good! But as I said, the money flow ran dry when I went back to school, and as soon as I became less immersed in the dance world, the motivation and confidence flow also began to run dry.

    I’d really like to reactivate that motivation flow. Now that I’m being smarter with my money, I’m trying to achieve more balance in my life. I mean, as much as I’d love to drop everything and just dance all day, that just isn’t possible for me right now with my other priorities. One day it will all be about dance, but as a student, I need to focus on that. While I focus on that, though, it would be really nice to keep my dancin’ feet alive so that when I CAN start focusing on dance, I can run off of that continuous adrenaline rush that I’m missing right now. And that rush must start now. I can feel it. I just need a huge push. This summer (after my swollen toe heals and can fit in my tap shoes again – but that’s a story for another day!) is the summer that I get over this rut and remember what it was like to have happy feet, to feel alive, to feel confident, and overall… to be happy in love with dance again. And I KNOW that Shawn’s intensive can help me with that.

    Oh but.. most of all… I miss shawn and Jenna and all my fellow tap-dancin’ grasshoppers!!

  2. Melissa Wright June 17, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    I have loved to tap dance since I was 3 years old. I love the rhythms and percussion this dance form allows me to explore. It truly is an amazing form of dance. However, there is always more to learn and more to explore with anything that you do.

    I attended Shawn’s tap intensive 2 summers ago and my whole world was opened up to a new style of tap dance. When I was at the intensive, everyday was like Christmas morning; I couldn’t wait to wake up and run down to the subway to be on my way to Shawn’s classes. Even through the blisters and pain it was all worth it and I am sure it will be all worth it again this summer!! Shawn is so inspiring and has made me a better dancer and teacher for it, teaching me how to share and spread my love of tap with others.

    I feel that this summer program would benefit me in many different areas of my tap dancing. First of all endurance: sweating it out for 6 hours a day with the best instructor/choreographer around will do that. Secondly, it will help me improve my improv skills and make me feel more comfortable with improv so I can work it into my tap classes and teach my students how to do it. When I first did improv 2 summers ago at his intensive I was very shy, but by the end of the week I was no longer afraid to improv. I still need some work on this and would like to participate in more of Shawn’s exercises for improv, so I can take these activities back to my tap classes to try. Improv is a great skill to have, as you never know when a great opportunity to throw down some tap will come around.

    Third, this intensive will help improve my performance quality and choreography. I always want to provide the most entertaining pieces for my audiences and feel that this intensive will help keep my choreography fresh and exciting. I also would like to be able to leave the audience wanting more each time they watch my pieces and my students perform. This intensive will help me reach that goal!

    The forth reason this intensive would benefit me is that I would like to learn more about tap history so that when I incorporate a certain style of tap I can tell my students who it is influenced by and where it came from. I think it is important for students to know about the history of what they are doing. It helps them to connect to something that is taking place or has taken place in the real world and that is important to kids of all ages.

    Fifth and on of the most important things that I think it will help me with is my technique. Technique is so important and crucial in the world of tap dancing. We tell a story with our tap shoes and no one likes to hear a muffled story; I want to it be coming across loud and clear and feel this intensive will help me with that. At times I know my technique isn’t the best but I am sure Shawn can whip it into shape. Anyway that I can improve or learn new technique, I am up for.

    I always want to better myself and this intensive certainly is a way to do that. In the Maritimes it is hard to find tap training of this quality. When you go to a dance workshop you may only get an hour of tap the whole weekend. So for me this is a fabulous opportunity that I have to take advantage of. I have been saving every penny that I can since I found out about it, in hopes to not have to borrow too much money to get there. However, no matter the cost I will be there, as this intensive is very important to me and tap dancing is something I am very passionate about!

    And lastly I feel that this intensive will help me build confidence not only with my dancing but also with myself. I will learn to perform and dance with people I don’t know very well and don’t dance with on a regular basis; learn challenging choreography and have to improv on the spot, which will improve my confidence in dance. Traveling to Toronto all by myself will also help build my self confidence, showing me that I can do anything no matter how big or nerve racking the challenge may be. I am looking forward to going back to Toronto to see all the participants from the last intensive and to meeting the new grasshoppers. I am also looking forward to learning what Shawn has in store for us and sharing that knowledge with others that couldn’t be there! Most of all I can’t wait to be in a room filled with people who are just as passionate about dance as I am!! I am sure the energy will be amazing!! I am really looking forward to entering BDX and starting an exciting tap journey filled with fun, memories, sweat and BLISTERS!!!

  3. Tracy Smith June 22, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    I have been taking classes with Shawn for a number of years. I took part in his tap teachers intensive in 2004. I still remember the dances we did that week and find myself using the combination all the time. 2006 to 2010 is a LONG time and I must say I’m in need of some refreshing!!

    I own dance studio in a small town in Central Ontario. This is a studio full of dancers who love to tap. And considering my love of tap. It’s wonderful to teach students that feel the same way. But like every teacher who is teaching 5 days a week, I get stale. Very stale!!! This tap intensive is going to continue to inspire not only myself, but the other students I teach.

    Finding good tap workshops can be very difficult. I find the other styles of dance tend to get the “Lime Light” and Tap can be left behind. I understand this because most venue’s do not offer a place for tap workshops to be held. With out the dancers tapping on carpet. We are all very lucky to have some one like Shawn who not only shares his love of tap. But has a venue that we can tap at and really hear our sounds 🙂

    I LOVE TAP!!! I do it every where… When I’m brushing my teeth. Eat. Sleeping. Hanging out at the bar. In high school I got in crap because I was tapping under my desk during exams. I am a tap dancers. I want to improve and know I can.

    So with all this being said I’m over the top excited about taking the Summer Tap Dance Intensive this year. I’m not going to lie it is going to be an expensive week. Shawn is an outstanding teacher and I 100% understand the reason this intensive is the price it is. And how often will you get this much attention in one class?? The cost of staying in Toronto for a week is CRAZY!!!!!

    Tappin’ makes me happy!!


  4. Meagan Speakman June 23, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    My name is Meagan Speakman, and I originally trained from a small town in Halton Hills. I have attended a few workshops, but other than Shawn’s Tuesday night class at BDX, TDI Dance Centre in Acton is the only place I have received tap training from. Tap to me is not only a stress reliever, but it’s beautiful in its particular attention to detail. Everyone has sat there and listened to such a good song that once you hear a strong beat.. you have no choice but to tap your feet or drum your hands creating an expressive beat you cannot wait to get into the studio. I love tap, its inspiring!

    I am an emerging dancer, wishing to broaden and intensify my tap dancing horizons. I wish to experience the Toronto tap dance world, and input my enthusiasm and small town hard work into all aspects of it.

    Improvisation in tap dancing is a skill I have absolutely no knowledge of, but would love to discover the value of such an expertise. There is nothing more eye catching than watching that kind of talent in action. Being part of that would be exhilarating.

    I still am a young dancer as well, so my view on tap choreography is very naïve in terms of challenge for younger students I may teach. I have been teaching beginner tap, and there is nothing more satisfying then seeing a students’ face light up when she realizes she recognizes a rhythm, or understands what a shuffle is. To update and raise the bar of difficulty in my training will not only benefit me, but my students. I intend on working towards my teachers tap exam with the CDTA as well, and I am very dedicated to the genre of tap along with every other small fraction of the field, including the summer intensive.

    I cannot wait for that last week in August!! ❤

  5. Catherine Hammel June 23, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    I’ve grown up tapping, it’s always been a part of my life- however, more recently it’s become an even bigger part of my life than before. I love it! The rhythms and dynamics draw me in and how each step tells a story is something I find very fascinating. I’ve always been the competition style tap dancer, where every routine is very choreographed and rehearsed, but I’ve never just been able to tap from the heart, where every step I dance is part of a story that I created.

    It’s been years since I’ve taken class from you, but honestly that was one of the last times I’ve truly been inspired to hunger for more with my tapping!

    This intensive would benefit me in so many ways. Being able to learn different styles within tap dancing would open my eyes to a whole new aspect of this art. I would become even more connected to tap because I would have the opportunity to get back to its roots and really understand where it came from and how its evolved into what it is today. This would impact my tapping because it would help create different dynamics and incorporate some aspects of the different styles into a style that reflects me.

    It would also help refine my technique and teach me new steps. Being able to tap every day will dramatically increase my technique and also strengthen my current tap abilities. Dancing with the same teacher is awesome, but often times the steps become predictable. I think this would be an amazing opportunity to learn from you, a guy who definitely knows his stuff about the tap world, and learn some different things that I haven’t seen. By being able to add new steps to my tapping will allow me to become a more versatile tap dancer. Both of these things will also help my improv skills too! Why? Because amazing technique will help with confidence and give me an extremely strong foundation to be able to create steps on the spot!

    Learning in an environment where every person there wants to be there is something I find very inspiring and encouraging! This will make classes much more enjoyable and will continue to push me to learn and become the best tapper that I can be!

    By coming to this intensive, it would open up a new world of tap dance. It would challenge me in ways that I’ve never been challenged and grow in ways I never thought I could. Being from Moose Jaw, there aren’t a lot or even any opportunities for a higher level of tap dancing, but this is something that will be fulfilled by coming to your intensive. I want to grow as an artist- I want to become immersed in tap and learn as much as I possibly can. Coming to Toronto (possibly all by myself) would teach me a lot about myself as a person and being a part of your intensive would teach me an insane amount about who i am as tapper and also about the art I love most- TAP!!

  6. Liisa June 24, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    The BDX Summer Tap intensive would be a huge benefit to me as a dancer, a teacher, and a person. As a dancer, this is the only tap intensive offered in Toronto so I would be getting training far different than others in the city. Shawn’s classes are an intense work out and would have me in great shape for the fall audition season.

    Shawn’s unique way of looking at tap would help me out both as a teacher and a dancer because he breaks everything down into rhythms instead of just individual steps. This is a skill that is not always taught in tap. Shawn’s knowledge of the dance form and of music means that he’s creating intelligent, well-rounded tappers who know the background of the form they practice.

    In my teaching, I have been trying to bridge the gap between needing to learn tap syllabus for exams and being able to both follow and create rhythms and patterns so that all my students are being offered the best training I can possibly give them. I am headed to a teacher’s syllabus course in July, but need a refresher in the wonderful meaty tap that is so technical but so grounded and rhythmic which seems to ooze right out of Shawn.

    As a person, I know this tap intensive will help me push my limits and hit new heights as I try to be the best that I can be. Shawn is able to magically draw that out of dancers. I also know that I will make new friends and half an absolute blast sweating, learning, growing, getting all out crazy, and diving in to tap with them.

  7. Anita Nittoly June 28, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Tippity-tappity-tap-tap. I remember the sounds my feet used to make when I was dancing seven days a week. But, as I got older, the tapping became fewer and farther between; since it’s now stopped altogether, the sounds live only in my memory. I’m an actress and stuntwoman-in-training; I owe my successes to my dance background. The physicality I’ve experienced has shaped the way I move on stage, on film, and behind the scenes.
    Tap was my second love, ballet my first… until tap quickly took over. I was lucky enough to have a natural rhythmic understanding. The only thing on the dance floor, bigger than my Buffalo Steps, was my smile. I want to experience that sensation of flying on my feet again, making music with my toes. I want to show myself I’ve still got it.
    And, who knows? Maybe, just maybe, I might have to double for Shawn Byfield someday… I mean if he has to fall off a building in Hairspray 2 or something, not double his feet. No one can do what his feet do. But I want to learn from them.

  8. Jill (Brooke) Yantzi June 30, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    I will never forget the first day I got to spend time with Shawn. One sentence in particular that he said to me completely changed the way I look at life. He looked at me and said“What do you want to do with dance in your life?”. I kind of chuckled and nervously replied “well how can I really do anything with dance? I have never been the best dancer, I can’t sing or act (which I have found out I am very good at singing) and I came from a small town where there aren’t many opportunities in dance besides owning a studio which at this point doesn’t really call to me. So I guess I see it in my life as fun and a good workout.”
    I was bewildered that he thought I could bring dance into my life and he was shocked that I never considered utilizing my passion, my love of dance, as paert of my life. He replied, “ I was never the best dancer at all but I LOVE to dance. Just because you aren’t the best doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful”. What a HUGE paradigm shift for me. In fact, that was a very pivotal part of my own self-exploration as I realized how much I missed dancing and taking classes. That summer, like most summers, I moved to Toronto and started taking dance classes mostly hip hop and tap from Shawn. I hadn’t tapped in about 5 years at that point and I will never forget my first class with Shawn as it was SO much fun and I remember messing up a lot but it really didn’t care. The amount of acceptance, joy, fun, and vibrancy that Shawn brings to the class totally dissolved my fears about taking tap again and everything that I had built up around myself around dance and tap from when I was a child. Tap was always my FAVORITE dance form. I think it was because we got to make so much noise ☺ Also though because of its rhythm, its heart beat, its ability to play with so many different genres of music. It has always been the dance form that has made my mind relax and my heart open.
    Throughout the last few years I have done my best to get to Shawn’s tap classes, although they are usually at times which are tough for me. I would LOVE to be a part of the intensive and really take that time to nourish and work on my skills as a tap dancer as the times that I can make it to Shawn’s classes become few and far between. I would be honored to be chosen as one of the winners as I have paid for and created everything that I have done in my life and it would be an amazing gift and weight off my shoulders to not have to pay for the intensive.
    Shawn is such a huge motivation for my life in following my heart and not letting what anyone else thinks hold me back. I now teach people how to dance after studying various dance forms around the world and I am constantly inspired by the passion and drive that this man brings to his work. I would LOVE to improve and enhance one of my favourite forms of dance, tap, and be able to bring that to others and teach them as well. This tap intensive would be such a huge gift to me to really study one of my FAVOURITE types of dance with a master. A master not only in tap but in being a constant source of creativity and inspiration.

  9. Melissa Wright July 1, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    Thanks so much Shawn for the $100 off really looking forward to August!!!

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