ABSOLUTE BEGINNER COURSE
Setup Information and Course Notes
Congratulations on purchasing the Just TAP Absolute Beginner Course! I’m excited to share it with you, and think you’re going to love it.
Before we get started, here are a few things to help kick off the journey…
As part of the course, you receive 5 videos:
– Absolute Beginner Course: PART 1 (Instructional Video)
– Absolute Beginner Course: PART 2 (Instructional Video)
– Absolute Beginner Course: PART 3 (Instructional Video)
– Absolute Beginner Course: PART 4 (‘Fast Track Tap Recap’)
– Warm Up
Have a read of the information below, and when you’re ready, start off with ‘Absolute Beginner Course: PART 1′. The videos will guide you from there.
Regarding the ‘Warm-up’ video:
This video has been created as an example warm-up; one that I often take my students through at the beginning of a class. It’s designed to be challenging, and to push you out of your comfort zone (in a good way).
Feel free to follow the video exactly as it occurs, or if you’d prefer, use this video as a starting point for creating your own warm-up routine.
Allocate your practice space:
One of the best things about tap is that it can be done comfortably with a very minimal allocation of room. Try to find some space, away from prying eyes and other distractions, where you can comfortably move around. It doesn’t matter if this is a dance studio or a bedroom. You just need a minimum of 1 square meter for the steps done on the spot, and a few meters of walking space where you can practice some basic traveling steps.
Do I need tap shoes?
It’s one of the questions I get asked most often. Your first time in tap shoes is an exciting experience, but no, tap shoes are not required to begin with. Of course, if you enjoy tap dance and decide to continue with it into the future, then a good pair of shoes is a worthy investment to make. When you’re ready, check out this list of nifty resources (including shoes, professional practice floors, etc). I’ll send this through to you in an email soon as well.
In the meantime, just wear the hardest soled shoes possible so as to get some sound out of the floor.
Flooring (Make your own):
Whether or not you have tap shoes yet, there are a few quick, cheap, and easy-to-store flooring options to practice on (especially if you don’t particularly like the idea of marking your polished wooden floorboards). You want to find something that works for you, that has a little bit of give.
Here are our two favorites:
Option 1: If you are not restricted by noise, wooden floor is best. Invest in a cheap piece of chipboard or plywood from a local hardware store, and lay this down on some carpet, or on some non-slip padding (a fitness/yoga mat is works well) to protect the floor underneath, and to give your tap floor some cushioning.
Remember, Tap dance shoes are designed to not damage floors, however some marks and scratches will inevitably occur. Consider this carefully before you begin tapping.
Option two: if noise is an issue, a plastic floor protector (the type that goes underneath an office chair) laid on top of carpet is a perfect way to dull the sound (while still being clearly audible to the dancer). This is a nifty hack that I’ve used for years.
Never ever tap dance on concrete, or on wooden flooring laid directly onto concrete. Look after your legs, feet, and ankles at all times, and if you are experiencing any pain, stop and re-evaluate your flooring situation, and consult a medical professional. Note: If you are laying wood down directly onto concrete, we recommend using timber beams (also available very cheaply from a hardware store) to raise the wood off the ground.
What to wear:
We’re not going to be building up much of a sweat just yet, but when you tap, wear comfortable clothes that you can move around in, and keep a bottle of water and a towel close by.
Other recommended items to have on hand:
There are also a few optional, but recommended items to have on hand:
CHAIR: Have a chair close by to use as a support, if you need it. If you can do without it from the beginning, that’s great, but don’t hesitate to use it if you need that little bit of extra support.
MIRROR:If you have the luxury of a full length mirror, this is perfect. However, any size mirror above, say, an A4 size is beneficial. Lay the mirror on the floor leaning against the wall (or another chair if a wall isn’t present), On a slight angle so that you have a direct view of your feet from your standing position.
METRONOME: Grab a metronome, or a metronome app for your smartphone…this will come in very handy to help keep time when practicing on your own. Here’s one I use for IOS.
NOTEBOOK: This may come in handy for keeping track of your progress.
That’s it for now! We’ll see you for PART 1 of the course!
(If you haven’t already, see the email you received for the download and streaming links.)