Tap Teacher Questions Answered

Our rec Dancers will be back Oct. 5. Just wondering what to put on the floor to enable them to keep their distance. We do have stars/circles. I’ve been seeing a lot of floors that have been boxed out with tape. My students are younger and up so any suggestions will help. ~ Annette R.

I recommend the boxes over the circles. Little kids have a very clear understanding of staying inside a box. A dot is something they can hop on and off of, but a box is something that they’ll stay in. 

On our Marley floor, we used Gaft tape. On our wood floor, we tested vinyl tape, but I found that it messed with the floor, it pulled at the finish, and I didn’t like that. So we’ve been using spot markers to form boxes and that’s been fine, but the classes that are in the wood floor studio at my studio are older, specifically because little ones like to be on the floor and I don’t want little ones covered in tap dust, so since the dancers who dance in that room are older, they have a better understanding of social distancing. 

What is a good mask to teach in? ~ Amy B.

In last week’s episode 068, I share tips for tap dancing in a mask, including my favorite mask to teach in. Click here to check out the show notes of that episode for a link to my favorite mask. 

This will be my first time doing in-person at the same time as Zoom. Zoom alone went well but this is a little tough to get my head around. Any advice on camera position, my own body position in front of the class/camera, zoom music settings, will I need a microphone to be heard by zoom students? ~ Kelly P. 

Awesome question. And I just want to have a quick shout out to all the Tap Teachers out there who are putting in all this time, energy, and effort to getting this right. Your students are lucky to have caring and dedicated teachers like you. 

Quick answers to your question… yes, you’ll need a microphone, and camera position should be at the front of the room. Go to itaponline.com/hybrid, and there you’ll find a course that shows you everything you need for an awesome Hybrid tech set-up. I talk in-depth about why I feel the camera should be in the front of the room, and I also show what that positioning looks like in a mirror. I share all the tech you need, where to get it, how to set it up, how to turn it at the start of class, and how to shut it down at the end of class. It’s all there for you. iTapOnline Members, reminder that you have access to this course in the Member Center. If you’re not yet an iTapOnline Member, you can head to itaponline.com/hybrid for access to this information. 

Next, I recommend you check out episode 066 on “How to Teach an AWESOME Hybrid Tap Class” 

I use my iPad for class is there a way to make the music sound better? ~ Margaret S.

First, always make sure your “original sound” is enabled. Next, I recommend teaching with a laptop. And after that, I recommend an external USB microphone. This is for Zoom-only classes. The Hybrid set-up is totally different. 

Speaking of Hybrid...

For a Hybrid format- what is the equipment needed for the Dancers on Zoom? TV monitor, microphone, webcam, etc. ~ Lisa B. 

Head on over to itaponline.com/hybrid and you’ll get all the information you need. 

Do you do a full-body camera and a foot camera for Hybrid classes? Microphone? ~ Tricia B.

I use one camera only, I don’t do multi-angle. I’ve seen people do multi-angle, but let’s be real, dancers aren’t flipping back and forth or split screening to see both angles. Keep it simple for yourself, one proper camera angle that gives them what they need. 

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