The other day, we were working on our Curriculum and Syllabi training with our teaching Team at my studio, Grooves Unlimited and I found myself repeating the same thing over and over again.
When it comes to tap dance, especially when dealing with lower levels (adults or kids), you have to find 5 different ways to do the same exact thing.
When you think about the basic/fundamental techniques of tap dance, they are what they are. If you’re in level one, you’re learning all the basics and how they work together. If you’re in the next level up, you’re working on their basics still, but at a faster tempo or in a different order.
That being said, it can get very repetitive. So you have to find 5 ways to do the same thing.
For example, take a basic technique or combination step:
- You do it in a circle during warm-up
- You do it again, but facing the mirror in your center technique
- Then you do it going across the floor.
- Then you do it again, and it’s in the combination that you teach towards the end of class.
- And then you do it again in a round of call and response.
So you’re trying to find all the different ways that you can do the same thing.
Keep in mind: tap dance is hard.
You can’t let them struggle too much, not at the beginner level. If they struggle too much, they’ll be uncomfortable and they’ll want to quit. We’re in a different time now. Students used to be energized by the challenge. But we’re not in that world anymore – especially kids – they don’t want to struggle through it. Now I’m not saying they should have to work hard. Tap dance is challenging, and that’s part of what makes it so excited. Check out Episode 010: Is Tap Dance Easy? where I talk about that. But we can soften the blow and make it a little less boring, a little less of a struggle, by finding 5 different ways to do the same exact thing.
And that is my tip and trick for today!