All Your Tap Improv Questions Answered

Last year, I asked over 3,000 tap dancers an important question…

What is your #1 question about improvisation in tap dance? 

And today, I’m going to share many of those questions with you, and my answers.

I’ve broken up these questions into the following categories…

Questions about getting started.

Questions about musicality.

Questions about technique.

Questions about teaching.

Questions about tap jam etiquette.

Questions about working with live music. 

And the last category, which is the #1 question that came in, is all about fear. 

How to overcome the fear of improvisation

Listen to this episode to hear about:

    • My personal, super intimidating, first-time introduction to improvisation as a kid.
    • Are you ready to start improvising? Where should you begin? 
    • How do you find the 1 while improvising? 
    • Do you always have to start on 1 and end on 4?
    • Should you only improvise to Jazz?
    • Recommended Jazz Standards to begin with. 
    • How should you approach phrasing? Different grooves? Different time signatures?
    • Basic steps to start with. 
    • How can you get faster footwork in your improvisation?
    • How do you make sure you don’t get stuck on the wrong foot?
    • How to avoid planning ahead in the circle. 
    • Ways to break habits of repeating the same steps and phrases. 
    • The best age/level to start teaching improvisation in tap class. 
    • How to help students who are caught up in fancy footwork. 


  • Imposter syndrome. 


    • How to fit in improv when you only have 45 minutes in tap class. 
    • Helping students who had a bad experience in improv. 


  • Your students just don’t like improv. What should you do?


  • How to make improv FUN for your students. 
  • How to incorporate harder technique into your improv. 
  • What do you do when you’re in a jam circle, and another dancer runs into your 8 bars? 
  • How to know where your trade begins/ends. 
  • How to find musicians to practice improvisation with. 
  • How should you talk to the band before improvising? 
  • How do you get over feeling embarrassed? Nervous? Or scared?

Thank You For Listening!

I’m super thankful for your support. If you enjoyed today's show, please share it on social and be sure to tag me @hillarymarietap @itaponline so I can give you a shout out :)

I would also be super appreciative if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest 5-star rating and positive review for the show in Apple Podcasts. They're extremely helpful when it comes to reaching passionate tap dancers just like you and I read each and every review personally! 💙

Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts and Spotify to make sure that you never miss an episode


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