Does your child have lots of excess energy and nowhere to put it? Perhaps they have a knack for rhythm and need an outlet to let some of it out! Tap classes at Ascendance Studio is just the solution you need! Our tap classes offer training in a variety of genres of tap dance from classical to rhythm tap.
How does Ascendance manage Tap classes
The direct answer to this question is: in the most fun and entertaining way possible. Tap is a fundamental style in our dance studio. Our tap program grows every year as more dancers develop a passion for the style. Our tap instructors are not afraid to go above and beyond to help your child connect to the class and develop a passion of their own for the style.
For our younger artists, we offer the chance to take a dip into the vast ocean of rhythm and indulge in the basics of tap dance. From the very early age of three years old, our dancers are trained in ballet/tap fusion classes where 30 minutes of the class are dedicated to ballet technique and the other 30 to musicality and rhythm. Our instructors provide students with various musical props to help the dancer not only connect the rhythm to their feet but make the connection in their minds as well. Our across-the-floor exercises are made to increase coordination within the body so that our students can apply their rhythms and timing to movement and transitions, encompassing the “big picture” and not just their feet! One element that makes our tap program at Ascendance Studio unique is the creativity that our instructors use to keep tap evolving in the modern world. Dancers tap to modern well known music that keeps them motivated and gives them a familiar element. The variety of genres our classes listen and dance to enables them to build a strong sense of rhythm and find the beat in any song!
In addition, our junior and teen dancers are challenged to try different styles within tap. Terminology is emphasized early on in our curriculum. Within the first few weeks, dancers surprise themselves with their abundant knowledge of the style and are even more proud of their progress. Tap is a very intricate style that requires a lot of attention and focus. Accomplishing a set of exercises or even a single step brings a joy that one cannot even begin to imagine. It’s the easiest dance form, but that proud smile makes it all worth it!
Benefits of our Tap classes
To begin, tap teaches students rhythm and musicality. Your child will have the ability to create music with their feet, feel confident in identifying different beats in the music and learn to create and follow rhythms and patterns. As the style of dance which is the most percussive, tap dancers learn how to be the music and how to identify and apply a variety of time signatures, comparable to music theory. Gaining this skill will benefit them in every other style of dance that they pursue, opening the doors to an all-encompassing experience using mind, body, and ears! Counting music is essential to all dance forms– encourage your child to start early! With strong foundations in musicality and logical awareness, tap dance can be a complex style but keeps the mind engaged and thinking. Tap dancers develop their focus skills during every class, as they learn new patterns/combinations and build on to previous ones. Creating rhythms takes more than just a simple stroke of the ground– it requires the ability to count music while undergoing physical activity, simultaneously. In turn, tap dancers have strong coordination skills and are able to think in unconventional and creative ways, as they identify and dance to different layers in any piece of music. Also, being exposed to a tap class not only helps dancers develop long-lasting friendships, it presents them with unique challenges that they perhaps would not experience in a different activity. We encourage you to register your child in a tap class so that they can feel the joy and sense of pride that we experience when they successfully grasp complex concepts and rise to the challenge!
Objectives of our Tap classes
- To develop coordination
- To gain the ability to use non-conventional ways of thinking that can be applied to all styles of dance
- To stay active and focused, further developing logic skills outside of a school environment
- To learn intricate rhythms and steps
- To develop and identify different beats within the layers of any piece of music
- To exercise the mind with learning and building on patterns
- To establish musicality and a sense of rhythm
- To develop strong improvisation skills and confidence
- To learn music vocabulary
- To develop and apply music theory skills and use of different time signatures
- To build friendships that will last a lifetime
- To experience the challenge of learning a new style
Origins of Tap Dance
Tap is a percussive style that stems from various cultural backgrounds. Irish, Scottish and English clog dancing, along with African rhythms and influence are all found at the root of tap dance. Historians claim that these European and African groups developed the style by living side by side in the urban, machine age in New York City. It was in The Big Apple that the style truly evolved into what it is today. At Ascendance Studio, your child will learn to create rhythm through syncopated patterns and percussive beats. Our program is designed to preserve the history of tap while promoting its continuous evolution. Combining strong technique for a solid foundation and a rhythm tap style, it is our versatile instruction that makes our program unique. From Broadway style classic tap to the “hoofer” style of tap dance, your child will gain exposure to it all!
It was not until the 1920’s that the style of tap dance that is more well-known today, emerged in the United States. It was during this time that dancers began training in all styles in order to become versatile and employable by big Broadway shows and major productions. If a dancer had an audition, chances are, they needed to know how to tap dance!
Hollywood icons like Fred Astaire andShirley Temple, among others, were instrumental in rising tap dance to fame. Some of our favorite gems include "Singing In The Rain”, starring Gene Kelly and his amazingly, gifted feet. During the 1980’s, tap experienced a rebirth. Tap dancers like Gregory Hines, Savion Glover, Bill Bojangles and others who continue to make a priceless impact on the art, are admired for their bold, unique contributions to the style and for revolutionizing the industry.