Pre-Tap and Early Tap Curriculums

Pre-Tap and Early Tap Curriculums: One-Day Training

July 12, 2020

Designed and led by Toni Noblett

Meet the Beat (3-4 year olds)

Shout, Shuffle & Swing (4-5 year olds)

A new and innovative one-day workshop open to all dance teachers who have had some experience with tap, no pre-requisite. Also appropriate for teachers and program directors who would like to add tap to their curriculums or who supervise staff who teach tap. The course is divided into two sections, four hours each:

"Meet the Beat” is a course of study for the youngest and newest dancers ages 3 – 4. This music and movement curriculum is the perfect first class or any form of dance.

“Shout, Shuffle, and Swing” continues and reviews the material introduced in “Meet the Beat,” with the addition of music-based tap technique for beginning dancers 4 – 5. Both courses can stand alone or be used sequentially.

What makes these courses different? They provide a “music first” curriculum: from the first hour of instruction, the importance of music is emphasized and celebrated. The result is dancers who are musical, learn quickly, are accomplished performers, and who find inspiration and joy in the music to which they dance.

Sunday, July 12, 2020 10:00AM – 7:00PM

1-day training at the American Tap Dance Center, NYC

• early education pedagogy adaptable to older beginners

• “music first” curriculums—how to choose it and how to use it

• live percussion and piano accompaniment

• expert faculty with extensive experience in varied settings

• support materials at the workshop and beyond


All participants will receive an Early Tap Curriculum Certificate awarded by the ATDF.

Course Descriptions:

Part 1:  “Meet the Beat” 3 - 4 year olds

Sunday, July 12  (4 hours with a lunch break and open discussion)

  • Games for exploring and owning the dance space; entrances and exits
  • Games that foster positive body awareness and motor skills
  • Games for learning the fundamentals of music
  • I am the music!  A dancer is music made visible
  • Games to build confidence and independence
  • Games to foster teamwork and unison movement
  • 1 hour with a percussionist to inspire incorporation of percussion in your classes
  • Ideas for working across dance disciplines to make connections before formal dance classes begin
  • Constructing curriculums for a music based creative movement class
  • Choosing music and thinking outside of the box
  • Alternatives for recitals
  • Identifying learning styles   
  • Importance of rituals

Part 2:  “Shout, Shuffle, and Swing”: a beginning tap curriculum for 4 – 5 year olds

Sunday, July 12 (4 hours with breaks)

  • General tap teaching tips/tricks of the trade
  • Addressing learning styles
  • The value of games in beginning technique
  • Working across disciplines/ballet, tap, jazz, modern, etc.
  • How to think like a musician
  • 90 minutes with a live pianist to review music fundamentals
  • How to choose music for beginning tap dancers
  • Choosing music for technique exercises/performance
  • How to incorporate body percussion into tap class
  • Recreational students/professional track students
  • Attracting male students:  “Let the Boys Make Noise!”
  • To swing or not to swing, that is the question…
  • Early lessons in counterpoint
  • Scatting and singing
  • Incorporating musicality and movement  into everything you do
  • Constructing curriculums for beginning tap classes
  • The importance of Tap History in beginning tap class 

All participants will receive written materials, an extensive discography, and list of fun videos (on internet or DVD) to support teaching. 

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