Tap Teacher Questions Answered

Published on January 21st 2021 by Hillary-Marie

Question from Lorainne: “Tips to help your kids tap softer. Our Samuel's are pretty heavy and even when dancing on the balls of their feet I just feel like they're so heavy and waited down and just clumping around like a bunch of horses lol”

Answer: This is all about tonality and about control. A professional tap shoe is heavier, and it is going to give you more sound, but that doesn’t mean that your students shouldn’t be able to control it. You’ll want to talk to them about the concept of tonality and dynamics, having control over their feet and the quality of their sound and their approach to the floor. Warm-ups are a great place to focus on this type of tonality work.

Question from Lillian: “How were the shoes the Tap Masters danced with?”

Answer: Most of them danced in leather soled oxford shoes, it wasn’t until later that taps were put on shoes.

Question from Tracy: “Tap shoes for kids/teens. I love my Jsams and my built up K360s but I think they may be too heavy for my students. They have less control of the shoe. Is this something they will learn? or should we stick with a lighter Bloch sync. ( I like their sound) or Chloe and Maud?”

Answer: In episode 22, I talk about my recommendations on which tap shoes your students should wear, and in episode 025, I do a tap shoe review of all the professional shoes I’ve worn. What’s most important is that your students are wearing single-sole tap shoes.

I wouldn’t put anyone under the age of 10 or maybe even 12 in a professional shoe yet, but that’s mostly because they’re expensive and the kids are still growing. But your students need to learn to control their instrument, and that comes with focusing on the technical approach to the floor, and the tonality, very much like I just spoke about in answering Lorainna’s question.

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