programs, for children and teens, teach students about America’s own indigenous
art form – Tap. Our distinguished faculty shares their knowledge of the artistry
and history of tap with each student in a fun, safe and supportive
What makes our
Young Rhythm Makers
Level 1: 3-1/2 to 4 year old dancers begin with a fun, 45 minute creative movement class. Through rhythm, music and movement games, children develop motor coordination and build towards tap dance basics. Students start in sneakers and progress to tap shoes. This class does not perform in the year end concert, but does and in studio performance for parents and friends at the end of the season in June.
Level 2: For ages 4 ½ -5, entering the program, our younger dancers concentrate on learning basic tap technique and music concepts through games and exercises. Students will learn a bit of history through books and video on a variety of great tappers, who have interesting life histories, such as Peg Leg Bates, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Fred Astaire, and others.
Level 3: For ages 4 ½ -5 with previous experience, we continue to build on previous skills and vocabulary, music concepts, all through fun and creative tap games and exercises. Students will learn a bit of history through books and video on a variety of great tappers, who have interesting life histories, such as Peg Leg Bates, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Fred Astaire, and others.
Tap Fundamentals: levels 1-4
This is the place to begin, for new students age 7 & up, with no previous tap experience. Students will find the “fun” in fundamental basics! Dancers concentrate on learning the basic vocabulary of tap dance, explore music concepts and beginning improvisation. We learn how to warm up, travel across the floor, and combine different basic steps to make combinations. Students will explore some unique tap masters through video and discussion, such as Peg Leg Bates, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Gregory Hines, Gene Kelly, the Nicholas Brothers, Brenda Bufalino, Savion Glover and more!
Shim Sham Crew: levels 1-3
This level is for students with one to four years tap training. Classes continue to build solid tap technique in a fun and supportive environment. Exercises, improvisation skills, and simple combinations give a foundation for learning tap repertory in higher levels. Students are placed according to tap level, age and motor skills. Students are introduced to more complex ideas and technique, such as time steps, and the early classic dances such as the “Shim Sham”. Students continue to build on skills, explore music concepts and basic improvisation. All dancers in this level will learn elements of the Shim Sham and Coles Stroll, as well as unique combinations and dances. History will include exploring the legacy of the shim sham, and it’s creator, Leonard Reed, and exploring through video and discussion tap masters featured in the documentary “About Tap”, Jimmy Slyde, Steve Condos and Chuck Green, and “Fascinating Rhythms” a BBC documentary.
Copasetic Club: levels 1-4
Students at this level have mastered beginning tap skills and are ready to learn tap repertory. Students progress forward in tap technique, improvisation skills and classic repertory passed down from a rich tap legacy. Focus for these levels is to learn 2 dances of the Copasetics, The “Coles Stroll” and the “Shim Sham”, and explore the technique and choreography of the masters, by learning elements/parts of other traditional Copasetic dances such as the “BS Chorus”, Soft Shoe, and paddle and roll variations. Students at this level move progressively toward mastering all basic time steps, being able to perform the “Coles Stroll”, “Shim Sham”. We explore the history of the Copasetics, and dancers most associated with this historic group, such as Bill “Bojangles” Robinson (for which the group was formed in his honor), and Honi Coles, the choreographer of the “Coles Stroll”, and will view video clips from “Great Feats of Feet”, created by Brenda Bufalino, as well as archived video featuring members of the Copasetics.
Time Steps and Traditions: 1-2
Syncopation and swing are the inspiration here, as we focus on further development of technique, learning a myriad of both classic rhythm time steps from the masters such as Bill Robinson, Leon Collins, Cookie Cook, and original time steps to different grooves and music. Students will be given the opportunity to explore creating time steps of their own. The classic dance of this section is the “BS Chorus” which features some flash steps, which means exploring those exciting moves such as “wings”, “over the tops”, and “trenches”! We begin taking a deeper look into fascinating dancers such as Honi Coles and the Nicholas Brothers, including video clips from the documentary “We Sing, We Dance” on the Nicholas Brothers, and various archive video clips on master dancers in this tradition.
Hoofers and Hitters: 1-3
Rhythm and style! Students at this level have mastered a variety of times steps, paddle and roll variations, and learned several dances in the Copasetic tradition. This level concentrates on exploring the steps and styles and legacy of dance masters such as Leon Collins, Buster Brown, Eddie Brown, and Carnell Lyons. Students will further explore higher music and improvisation concepts; paddle and roll and clean double time technique, and tapping in a variety of grooves and music styles. We will delve into the history and view clips on dance masters such as Baby Lawrence, in “Jazz Hoofer”, Leon Collins in “Songs Unwritten”, and we’ll explore some contemporary tap stylists of recent years, such as Jason Samuels Smith, Michelle Dorrance, and others.
Tap City Youth Ensemble
The Tap City Youth Ensemble gives intermediate and advanced tap dancers ages 11 to 19 the opportunity to work with professional choreographers to learn classic and contemporary tap repertory. The Ensemble is directed by Susan Hebach with mentorship by Brenda Bufalino, Margaret Morrison and Tony Waag. TCYE meets weekly in rehearsal with Ms. Hebach to prepare for performances in New York City. TCYE II and III also work with Assistant Rehearsal Directors Claudia Rahardjanoto and Tamii Sakurai.
Tap City Junior Ensemble
The Tap City Junior Ensemble gives advanced beginner & intermediate tap dancers ages 9 - 13 the opportunity to learn classic and contemporary tap repertory as well as work with guest choreographers. The Ensemble is directed by Susan Hebach and Courtney Runft. TCJE meets weekly in rehearsal with Courtney to prepare for performances in New York City.
Absolute Beginner , Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Advanced Beginning Repertory for Teens & Adults - See: Adult Classes
For more information contact us at email@example.com or call the ATDF at 646-230-9564