Tag Archives: tap dance summer camp

Toronto Tap Dance Intensive – Everett Smith Interview

15 Sep

2010 Toronto Tap Dance Intensive – Everett Smith Interview

Shawn Byfield, owner of Toronto’s BDX studio chats with good friend Everett Smith. If you didn’t know, Everett is a Canadian success story: Tap Dogs, Canada’s Olympic tap dance team, director of Tap Dance Centre in Mississauga and top 4 finalist on season 2 of So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

Watch the video to learn about Everett’s humble beginnings and his view on Canadian dance.

Leave a COMMENT below!

Advertisements

Behind The Scenes: Toronto Tap Dance Intensive PART 2

3 Sep

Behind The Scenes: Toronto Tap Dance Intensive PART 2

Toronto tap dance group improv

Toronto tap dance group improv

A wonderful week of tap dance inspiration happened in Toronto August 23 – August 27 at Byfield Dance Experience (BDX). It was a wonderful opportunity for tap dancers from the GTA and as far east as New Brunswick- to come together, learn, grow and make friends.

See Toronto Tap Dance Intensive PART 1 here…

Tap intensive Part 2: Starting on the 2nd day, IMPROV was the name of the game. Improvisation is a major component of jazz music and tap dance. It’s helped the art form grow and evolve. Yet so many dancers are terrified when someone asks them to “make it up on the spot.”

During the Tap Dance Intensive all participants learned tips, tricks and techniques to:

  1. Finally eliminate their fear and negative outlook of improvising;
  2. Understand and practice using many different improv strategies;
  3. Strengthen improvisation individually, as well as trading in teams and groups.

There’s a reason we put the “E” in IMPROVE. Because IMPROV is a constant work in progress.

At week’s end, we showed off to a small audience, everyone proudly showing their new respect and understanding of improvisation. Kudos to the participants, and to all tap dancers who continue to work on improv and embrace being creative!

– Shawn Byfield

Click Here To Learn About More Toronto Tap Dance Classes

Working on tap dance improv

Working on tap dance improv

Click Here To Learn About More Toronto Tap Dance Classes

Behind The Scenes: Toronto Tap Dance Intensive PART 1

1 Sep

Behind The Scenes: Toronto Tap Dance Intensive PART 1

Toronto tap dance

Toronto tap dance

Tap dancers unite! A wonderful week of tap dance inspiration happened in Toronto August 23 – August 27 at Byfield Dance Experience (BDX). It was a wonderful opportunity for tap dancers from the GTA and as far east as New Brunswick- to come together, learn, grow and make friends.

Run by some Shawn Byfield guy, the 5 day Tap Dance Intensive briefly covered many topics:

  • Basic tap dance history, notable tap dancers from the past and their contributions
  • Lesson in music history, specifically focusing on Europe’s influence on North American music eras
  • Daily exercises to refine and improve our tap dance technique, musicality and listening skills
  • Improvisation techniques, and how to improve our confidence when creating on the spot
  • Crash-course in reading music, notation, traditional musical forms and how they apply to us as dancers

And of course, a TON of daily tap dance choreography that would make your head spin!

And if that wasn’t enough, not one but TWO popular, exciting and very special guests came in to teach their tap choreography, share stories of their experiences and INSPIRE. Here’s some shots from behind the scenes.

SHARE your thoughts! Comment at end of this post. Stay tuned for Part 2…

– Shawn Byfield

Click Here To Learn About More Toronto Tap Dance Classes

Tap dance Toronto

Tap dance Toronto

Click Here To Learn About More Toronto Tap Dance Classes

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

TORONTO TAP DANCE CONTEST RESULTS

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.

** BONUS SURPRISE **

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:

http://www.ShawnByfield.com/tapcamp.htm

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

– Shawn B

How Brave Tap Dancers Push Limits

9 Jun
Is It Really Worth It?

Is It Really Worth It?

So here’s a cool photo I took a while back. How can YOU avoid this blister?

It’s simple: Don’t do anything.

Here’s a quick life lesson: You get what you put out.

That delicious blister you see above came from my tap dance intensive 2 summers ago. (I have a Toronto tap dance intensive this summer) The recipient of the wound would have been fine if she didn’t do anything.

Blisterless. Yup! I just made that word up.

But back to my story. Do you think she would have learned anything if she DIDN’T have a blister? Do you think she took her growth seriously?

She came to my tap dance intensive nervously, as we all feel nervous when we don’t know what to expect. That’s the human brain for you. But she knew in her mind she wanted to GROW as a teacher, a musician and as an artist. And she rose to her own expectations.

That very blister was a reflection of the hard work put in.

And Guess What Happened?

That tap dancer’s technique grew exponentially. Her confidence improved.

Her tap style, improv skills and rhythmic understanding grew so much on a daily basis that her heel had now worked to the point of no return. And she loved every minute of it.

That blister was PROOF that her life had changed.

Many dancers go through life playing it safe. They stay comfortable. That’s why many of them have beautiful feet!

But if you’re thinking it’s time to get away from being safe, need a challenge and you’re ready to toughen your skin, you need to take a risk. You need to PUSH yourself to new limits, outside of your safe bubble.

10 Beautiful Little Piggies

Because if you don’t… yes, you’ll still have beautiful feet. But others will be dancing circles around you. Not out of competition, but just because they CAN.

Ask yourself: Are you willing to settle being average? Are you content with just having 10 beautiful little piggies that look great in sandals?

If yes, that’s fine. But if you desire something more, if you know you’re worthy of improvement and believe you have more to share… PUSH yourself! Take a risk. Expand your bubble and watch what happens.

Go get that blister.

– Shawn Byfield

About The Author:

Shawn Byfield is an award winning choreographer, show director and a leading expert in dance lessons and industry advice. His extremely fun approach to learning is a must for anyone looking to achieve their highest potential through dance. Learn more about the Tap Dance Summer Intensive Program.

Tap Dance Love in Toronto

14 Jul

What an awesome weekend of tap dance love!

So, if Saturday’s awesome “Dixieland” themed tap classes weren’t enough workout for me, I had a dance related film shoot starting at 6:45 am on Sunday, right downtown Toronto all morning to afternoon. VERY fun times.

I then held an audition Sunday afternoon for a tap dance intensive I’ll be running in August.

The room was HOT and SWEATY. We had the tap audition at Metro Movement dance studio, if you’ve ever taken a dance class there you know what I mean… 😉 and the energy was great. I started with a bit of ear training, a quick tap warm up, and got right into a routine to a favourite Thelonious Monk tune of mine.

I couldn’t move my legs much last night from all the dancing… But hey, nobody said the life of a tap dancer would be an easy one!

Congrats to everyone that participated in the audition, and thank you to everyone that shared your love of tap dancing this weekend in Toronto!

– Shawn B

www.ShawnByfield.com

%d bloggers like this: