GET STARTED IN TAP DANCE – WHAT YOU’LL NEED
You don’t need much to get started in tap dance (not even tap shoes). Just a little space to move around.
But if you’re keen to continue the journey in tap, then you’ll want to start thinking about setting yourself up with a few important items, including:
- Tap shoes
- Practice Floor
- Music Practice Tool (For slowing down and speeding up music)
I’ve done a lot of research into all of these, and have tried many different options. Here’s the stuff I use and recommend:
If you’re keen to continue your journey in tap dance, then a quality pair of tap shoes are well worth the investment. They will become your best friends. I’ve tried a lot of tap dance shoes in the past, and here are my favorites:
BEST ALL ROUNDER: BLOCH ‘RESPECT’ LACE UP OXFORD
A fantastic shoe, worn by both men and women. Comfortable, durable and well priced. I’ve loved my ‘RESPECTS’, and have happily recommended them a lot over the years. A perfect starter shoe, that will last.
BEST PROFESSIONAL SHOE: BLOCH ‘JASON SAMUELS SMITH’
I love this shoe. Love it. I’ve been wearing ‘J-SAMS’ for over 5 years now, and love the built up sole, the comfort and style, and the deep sound these shoes can pull from a wooden floor. They’re a heavier than the ‘RESPECT’, but this is exactly what I personally look for in a tap shoe. A great, very well priced option for Intermediate, Advanced or Pro tappers.
Ladies, feel free to wear a traditional heeled tap shoe. Some ladies prefer these, and some prefer the unisex black leather option. It’s all personal preference and either way is totally fine.
Where do I get tap shoes from?
There are lots of great online retailers, but most dance stores will stock tap shoes (Bloch & Capezio are the most common dance shoe brands, stocked in dance shops all over the world).
There are a few good tap floor options around, but my favorite is FasFoot. Their floors are durable, sound and feel great, are easy to store and come in a range of different colors and sizes.
They’re a US based company, and so the international shipping rates get a bit hefty if you’re outside the US, but aside from that, the FasFoot is a great floor, well worth the investment.
If you’re in Australia, check out ‘Performance Platforms’ on Facebook. Tell JW I sent you!
A metronome is a great practice tool, and one that I recommend to all my students when getting started. This will help you to chart your progress when practicing, and see that you’re actually speeding up!
Give this one a go. It’s simple and straight-forward, and will do everything you need it to.
MUSIC PRACTICE APP
As tap dancers, sometimes we need to slow down or speed up our music (without changing pitch) to maximize our practice time. ‘Anytune’ does this and so much more. It’s absolutely packed with features which you can delve into, but it’s also user-friendly if you’re happy to stick with the simple stuff. I personally love that you can put markers throughout your track so that you can quickly come back to these specific time-codes, and jump between them.
It’s awesome. Perfect for practicing, teaching or choreographing. I use it everyday.
OTHER THINGS TO HAVE HANDY FOR TAP DANCE
- Mirror (the bigger the better)
- Practice Sheet (here’s one I’ve made for you)
- Video Camera
With these tools at the ready, you’ll be all set for a fulfilling tap dance adventure, now and into the future.