Tag Archives: tap

Learn To Improve Tapdance Improvisation

3 Dec
Tap dance improv tips

Tap dance improv tips

My friends,

Many people want to learn to tap dance. And many want to learn to improv in tap dance. The first situation is easy: find a tap dance class with a reputable teacher. But how do you do the latter- improvisation?

My suggestion: work at it. No seriously. There’s lots of ways to approach this. Here’s four suggestions:

  • Start with a step you like, and play around with it. Dabble. Add a shuffle.
  • Find a rhythm or groove in your head, and try to recreate that groove with your tap feet.
  • Do your favourite tap step on one foot, then reverse the whole thing.
  • Tap with a buddy, and challenge each other to repeat each others steps in real time. I call this “Monkey See, Monkey Tap”.

There’s lots of ways to get started. Check this tap video out- I use the groove in my head method and embellish on top of that:

The video above, is of me working on my own tap dance improv skills. I wore my Nikes so my neighbours wouldn’t complain… =)

Like everything else in life, you have to go through a learning curve. You won’t just wake up one day and be able to tap dance like a pro. Improv especially doesn’t come naturally.

Tap dance classes help build your VOCABULARY of tap dance. Each tap step is a word. Those words make sentences. Once you understand what the words mean, then you can work on phrasing those tap dance steps together. Ya dig?

This is just a short tap post. I wanted you to know, tap dance improv requires a bit of time. I’ve been hoofin (tap dancing) for years, and I STILL need to work at it. That’s why we put the “E” in “IMPROV…E”. Nobody’s perfect. We ALL need to keep seeking out new tap steps to trade, new music to groove to, and new ideas or inspiration.

Lemme know how it goes. Happy tappin!

About The Author:

Shawn Byfield (www.ShawnByfield.com) 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.

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Tap Dance Meets Sudan

23 Sep

Here’s a snippet of a friggin’ cool tap dance performance I did at Rose Theatre (Brampton, Ontario) with my very talented and inspiring friend Waleed Abdulhamid:

Tap Dance Performance part 1

Waleed “Kush” plays just about any instrument, and I play… well, I tried to keep up playing my taps! It’s part of a promo for the theatre. And here’s part two of the tap dance performance, this time with flute:

Tap Dance Performance part 2

Yeah, I still got it. Let’s see those contestants on So You Think You Can Dance Canada keep up with ME! 😉 Now you know what I do, besides choreograph, produce shows and teach tap class. Leave your comments and share the love.

– Shawn B

www.ShawnByfield.com

Toronto Tap Dance Class For Cool Adults

13 Jun

Hey funky friends!

Many of my Toronto tap dance students are adults who used to tap, but haven’t done it in years. That’s who I focus on, the cool people who used to tap dance and want to rekindle that passion. =)

It’s NEVER too late to grab your tap shoes. Don’t let ANYONE tell you any different.

So, if you or someone you know is looking for a tap school, and it’s been a while, don’t miss out on some fun times. Get back in some tap lessons! And hey, if you seriously want to get those feet back, you’re welcome to drop by and try out a class so we can see what level is best for you.

Drop us a line here and let’s crack a tap together!

– Shawn B

www.ShawnByfield.com

How To Do An Inspiring Tap Dance Routine

13 Jun

Just so you know, Gregory Hines was that “spark” for me. He was the whole reason I put on my first pair of tap shoes- I still remember the day I wanted to be free like him. To just tap dance, and share that joy with everyone.

He may be gone, but definitely not forgotten. It’s amazing how his hoofin’ still inspires us today!

I just found this tap video from 1995, and it gets me inspired- yet again. This video is how you do it right. Clear tap sounds, wonderful musicality, and two talented artists passionate about their craft.

If this performance don’t make you want to take a tap dance class, well… keep watching! Maybe you’ll wanna learn to play bass instead… that Stanley is one bad mofo. What a pair! =)

Tap Dance Video: Stanley Clarke with Gregory Hines on Arsenio Hall Show

Toronto National Tap Dance Day

13 Jun

Hey friends,

Congratulations to every tap dancer around the world that took to the stage for National Tap Dance Day ’08. The Toronto show was in memory of fellow hoofer Virginia Binko.

I performed in Toronto’s tap dance celebration, honouring Bill Robinson himself with a improvography solo to Mr. Bojangles. It’s a wonderful arrangement sung by Robbie Williams.

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