Have you ever noticed that many of the toddler and pre-school dance classes are a ballet/tap combination? It’s no accident that these are the first two classes instructors choose for their students. These two styles shape the way our dancers are able to execute technique and improve the artistry of their movement. We are told time and time again that “ballet is the foundation” and that is absolutely true- but tap is crucial for musicality and timing just as ballet is vital for technique. Tap is something that every dancer should take, especially if they want to be involved in a competition team or dance professionally.
Dance has evolved a lot, especially in terms of choreography! Contemporary has become incredibly popular and we are seeing students more and more interested in mature movement and dynamics. But it seems that in the wake of this new wave, tap is being forgotten and labeled as an “extra” class or unnecessary. Tap is arguably as important as ballet for developing a dancer into an artist. There are some dancers who are interested in tap as a style and appreciate it in its own right, but what if those who have no interest in tap can see it as a tool to improve their other styles? Tap truly helps you develop an “ear” for music and that is hugely important in dance.
“I can definitely tell who takes tap in my jazz and contemporary classes. They are able to count well, understand syncopation and can find the dynamics of my choreography more easily.” says teacher Melissa King
For those who are interested in dancing professionally, it is vital to be versatile in all styles. Dancers who audition for jobs will need to be able to do everything or the jobs available to them will be significantly fewer. Though our instagrams are flooded with crazy tricks, dozens of turns, and extreme flexibility (and all of that is great, too) commercial dance is much more than that.
Owner and Director Missy Morelli had a successful professional career in Los Angeles and she is adamant that “being a chameleon is mandatory”.
Not only is it important for other styles and helps us become well-rounded, but it is also just AWESOME! Tap is so much fun and mentally stimulating for all ages. Those who know and love tap already do not need to be convinced why it is crucial to their dance education. To know tap is to love tap!