I've been teaching tap dance for over 30 years and I'm excited to use my experise to help you navigate this new tap dance territory. We're going to have a lot of fun and I'm going to make sure you don't get lost. Let's go!
Let's cover one of the biggest questions I get right out of the gate:
Am I too old to tap dance?
Absolutely not! I have taught women as young as 82! They were pretty good too! Your age actually works in your favor - you've had more experiences than kids and you've had more practice learning new things. Granted it might have been a while since you tried something new. My adult tap students always learn faster than my same level kids.
What if I have 2 left feet or no sense of rhythm?
Then you are in exactly the right place! Those are the very things tap dance improves. Along with strength, balance, memory, endurance, mood and sleep. Personally I was never a fast learner - I'm still not (my wife will be happy to verify that!). That's okay, we're not in a race here. I teach at a pace that anyone can follow.
Is it hard to learn?
It is not hard to learn but a few steps can be hard to do at first. Like everything in life a little bit of practice goes a long way. I teach in a very logical order so your skills build naturally. Also keep in mind you don't have to master every step - you're probably doing this for fun not to become the next Ann Miller or Ginger Rogers. I have lots of adults who skip the turning or pass on pullbacks (that's one of those steps that's hard to do). They do just fine and have just as much fun as everyone else (sometimes more because they're less frustrated).
How much should I practice?/How long until I'm "good"?
This of course is different for everyone but here are some general guidelines:
30 minutes a week will yield steady but slow progress. At this rate it may take you a year to advance to the adv-beginner level and 2 years to get to the intermediate level.
60 minutes a week will yield faster progress. At this rate it may take you 6-9 months to advance to the adv-beginner level and 1 to 2 years to get to the intermediate level.
One important note on this - 15 minutes a day 4 days a week will get you better results faster than 60 minutes all on one day.
What tap shoes should I get?
I completely understand why people ask this but in many ways it's like asking what you should order at a restaurant. Everyone likes something different. Having said that here are a couple of general principles:
Don't buy anything really cheap (typically under $40). They won't be comfortable and they'll probably fall apart.
Try them on first. In my world comfort is king. If they aren't comfortable you aren't going to want to tap in them. I'm not a sound snob (if they make sound I can hear I'm happy) but if you are sensitive to the tone of the taps (no each individual tap is not supposed to match the others exactly in tone), tap with them on a wood suface and see if you like them.
I recommend putting rubber on the bottom if it is not already installed. Some shoes come with rubber on them and others don't (but it's often included with the shoes so you can put it on). I recommended it. It redices slipping sliding. I would have a shoe repair shop do it though as opposed to adding it yourself.
Beware stiff high-end shoes like Miller & Bens. People claim they break in but I have students who have worn them for years and say they're still stiff. Perosnally I like the Jason Samuels Smith shoes from zbloch. It's a bit expensive (and heavy) for a beginner shoe but It's very comfortable and durable. Any mid-level Capezio or Bloch tap shoe should be okay.
Can I tap in my garage/basement?
Not directly on the conrete. It will damage your body. I recommend some wood (3/4 inch plywood) on top of some type of cushioning (I'm currently using 1 inch slices of pool noodles under mine and that's working great). If you have hard wood floors and don't mind them getting scratched from the taps go for it (just make sure it isn't laid over concrete without some cushioning). If the tapping is too loud you can get some soft linoleum and roll that over the floor. It protects the floor and makes the sounds quieter so the entire house can't hear your taps.
How can I get started?
I have a Beginner Lessons Package that is the perfect start for your tap dance journey. See you there!
Still have questions?
Just email me at email@example.com. I'll get back to you usually within 24 hours. Thanks for stopping by and happy tapping!