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Tap Teacher Questions Answered

Published on December 10th 2020 by Hillary-Marie

"What is your favorite tap turn? ~ Lorraine 

My favorite turn is a Henry LeTang turn that was taught to me by my mentor, Karen Callaway Williams. This turns WHIPS and I love it. It has a pullback in there too. I taught it in iTapOnline as a part of my Historical Steps and Phrases theme back in August. Click here to check out a replay of the class. 

My next favorite would probably be a combination of riff and rhythm turns. Putting them together so that you can get 3 or 4 turns out of what should technically only be 2 turns. 

"Should a wing be done with a true scrape on the outside of the toe tap? I see a lot of people do wings with more of a brush in the beginning instead of a scrape. Is it just one of those things that is ok either way? Or is one actually correct? I was always taught to scrape, on the side of my tap, but now I’m not so sure.” ~ Corey

Awesome question! First off… wings start with a scrape. Not a brush (that’s poor technique, when someone tries to associate a wing as being similar to a shuffle). You really want to roll that ankle just enough so you can flip that foot out for a nice scrape sound. The analogy I always use is that there’s a hockey puck next to your pinky toes, and the goal is in the corner of the room, and you want to flick that hockey puck into the goal. Using the word “flick” encourages dancers to use speed and rotation in their ankle, to get that nice scrape sound out. 

As tap teachers, we’ve got to make sure we’re not letting  students cheat their steps. Now I know wings are a tricky trick step to teach, but if you use the right analogies alongside that proper technical demonstration, it’ll make a big difference. 

Shout out to all my iTapOnline Members,  who bring such awesome questions to the table during our iTap Chats :)

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