Tag Archives: tapdance

More Behind The Scenes Of I Think I Can

16 May

Behind the scenes of Dora award winning musical I Think I Can, co-created and choreographed by Shawn Byfield.

This clip is from Toronto rehearsals. The mostly tap dance show runs in Toronto at the prestigious Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People (new name: Young People’s Theatre) and in Ottawa at Canada’s National Arts Centre.

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!

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

NOTICE To Toronto Tap Dance Lovers

29 Jul
Tap dance in Toronto

Love tap dance? This could be you.

NOTICE To All Toronto Area Tap Dance Lovers:

So you know how I love tap dance right? And know how I’m always providing cool opportunities for tap dancers to improve their skills? Well listen- the summer tap dance intensive I’m  holding at BDX is in a month!

BUT…

The split payment option ends Friday July 30th.

Yes, you can still sign up after that date (only if spots are left.) But I put that option to make it easier for eager-beaver tappers like yourself to sign up. Plus, by making a choice NOW you can book the time off. This way, you won’t have any last-minute excuses pop up that’ll lead you to miss the training. Simple!

So if you love tap dance like I love tap dance, then there’s news you need to know. Spots are filling up. Take charge, and make a decision today.

Don’t let this pass you by!

– Shawn B

Click Here To Register For The Toronto Tap Dance Intensive

PS: I have not one, but TWO celebrity tap dance teachers who will also show you what they know. Hint: One was in a major stage show. The other was in a major TV show. You gotta sign up to find out who!

Nicholas Brothers Tap Dance Routine

1 Jan
The Nicholas Brothers tap dancers

The Nicholas Brothers tap dancers

Here’s a tap dance video of my favourite tap dancin’ duo, Harold and Fayard Nicholas, the Nicholas Brothers, in Stormy Weather.

Athleticism, syncopation, grace, and all round dynamic hoofin was their trademark style. And, they did it in suits. Classy! Band directed by Cab Calloway.

Nicholas Brothers Dance Routine in Stormy Weather

Nothing compares to the Nicholas Brothers… They’re a great example for all hoofers to learn tap steps from. I like to inpsire all my Toronto tap dance students with videos  from this duo. Stuff like this inspires us all to learn how to tap dance.

Or, learn how to tap dance better. Heck, I can literally watch videos of the brothers for hours!

What you think?

– Shawn Byfield

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.

Tap Dance Lesson With Bob Marley

30 Jul

Tap dance and Bob Marley unite! This is footage of some students tapdancing in Toronto last weekend.

Today’s video song is called Natural Mystic, from one of the most legendary singers in history: Bob Marley. The previous post has a list of other tap dancing music. Look up the songs, put yo’ tap shoes on and hit some wood.

Love the tap. Embrace the tap. Enjoy the tap!

– Shawn B

Tap Dance Lesson to Bob Marley

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

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