#003 What is Timestep Tuesday?

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#003 What is Timestep Tuesday?

#TimestepTuesday is a fun, social media celebration of tap dancers practicing (or as we like to call it, shedding).

What is a timestep? (0:55)

A timestep is essentially a step that keeps time, but more specifically, there are two types of timesteps:

  1. The traditional timesteps (single timestep, double timestep, triple timestep)
  2. The conceptual timesteps (three and a break, AABA)

Three and a Break (1:35)

Choreograph an eight count phrase (also known as two bars in 4/4 time) and we’ll call this phrase your ‘A’. After you’ve choreographed your ‘A’, you’ll repeat it and do it a total of three times. Next, you’ll choreograph a new eight count phrase, which we’ll call your ‘B’ or break (be sure that this phrase is in the same tempo and groove as your A). Do your A three times and then do your B (this is why it’s called three and a break).

AABA (3:35)

AABA is a common phrasing structure in 32-bar jazz standards. We’ll start the same way. Choreograph an 8 count phrase (two bars in 4/4 time) we’ll call your ‘A.’ Do this once on the right foot, a second time on the left foot and from here, create a new eight count in the same groove and tempo as your ‘A,’ which will be your ‘B.’ In the case of AABA, your ‘B’ is called a bridge. Finally, repeat your ‘A’ on whatever foot is most accessible, completing your AABA phrase.

Why I Love Teaching Timesteps (5:40)

  • Strengthen musicality
  • Gain knowledge on phrasing
  • Practical application of technique
  • The repetition is an opportunity for additional practice
  • Offers students an at-home practice tool

Why I Love Practicing Timesteps (7:27)

  • Repetitive nature
  • Hone your technique
  • Strive for clarity


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