Illustrated Tap Dance Steps

Tap shoes
By
Choreographer

Illustrated tap dance steps are an easy way to add new moves to your repertoire. If you know any of the basics of tap dancing, learning by either drawn or taped examples is effective, inexpensive and convenient.

Illustration Options

It is possible to learn tap dance from a drawing. For instance, the dance resource site StreetSwing.com includes a reproduction of a 1930s tap dance instruction booklet. The image shows and describes how to perform five basic tap steps. However, one of the best sources for illustrated tap dance steps is video. While a poster or chart can give you a general idea of the movements and rhythm required to perform a step, there's nothing quite like seeing the tap steps in action. Tap students shouldn't underestimate the importance of sound, either. Hearing the taps can help a dancer match the correct rhythm of the steps in a combination.

Tap App

For your iPhone and other devices, the Tap App is an excellent digital resource for illustrations of tap dancing steps. Download the app for only $2 and you will be on your way to learning new steps from this intuitive and professional source in no time.

Illustrated Tap Dance Steps Online

Online videos offer an inexpensive and convenient option for exploring tap dance steps.

United Taps

United Taps is the home of the Tap Dance Visual Dictionary, and is a free resource for dance students. The site includes more than 280 steps, with numerous variations on each one. For instance, once you've learned the Buffalo, you can try the Double Buffalo, Click Buffalo and Buffalo Pullback. Each step is presented at slow and medium/fast speeds in separate video clips. Visitors can also choose from three file sizes for each example, depending on their connection speed and the quality of video they want to see. Written descriptions of the steps help you follow along with the videos. If you're interested in combinations more than individual steps, the site's homepage features the owner's latest tap video.

YouTube

YouTube is a potential source of tap videos. If you're seeking a demonstration of a particular step, you can also search for its name on the YouTube homepage to find clips showcasing just that step. When you come across a video you find helpful, click on the username of the member who uploaded it. You're likely to encounter more recordings that fit your needs in the user's profile.

Instructional Tap DVDs

An instructional video offers the advantage of being structured more like a tap dance lesson. If you're moving from website to website watching video clips, you can learn a number of new steps, but they will lack cohesiveness. A teaching tape is choreographed to build from one step to the next. DVDs can also be a better option for practicing because sometimes it's easier to view a video playing on a television screen than on a computer monitor when you're on the dance floor.

  • Tot Tap is a beginning video for kids, teaching the fundamentals of dancing in a fun way.
  • The Land of Sweet Taps is another option for kids, teaching dance moves with the aid of fun song lyrics.
  • Adults who would like to explore the dance form may like Tap Dance Made Easy.
  • If you are not a beginning tapper, but a more experienced one, try out volume II or volume III of the Tap Dance Made Easy series.

Learning Independently

In order to make the most of your tap dancing time when working without the help of an instructor, it's important to practice frequently. Even if you only have five minutes a day, practicing for five minutes seven days a week is more efficient than practicing once a week for a half hour. In order to make the steps automatic in your feet and legs, you have to repeat them often. Look for opportunities to 'practice' wherever you happen to be at the moment, such as washing dishes or waiting on the phone on hold. Take those moments to practice and refresh a few steps and you'll find that the new steps you've been learning will become second nature in no time.

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