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Showing posts from March, 2019

The Two Kinds of Tap Dance (No Really)

I've been tap dancing on and off the stage for about as long as I can remember. Way back when, my dance classes were definitely all about the Broadway tap (or musical tap). We had the sequins and the feathers. We had the time steps and the kicklines and the ramrod straight backs and the big flashy grins. I still have a soft spot for that kind of tap. It wasn't until many years later that I dropped into a tap class in Boston and saw a very different kind of tap.

Now before I go on, I should clarify that the title of this blog post isn't actually accurate. I'm half joking, and I'll explain the title in a sec. I'm well aware that there are a number of different historical and modern tap dance styles - not just two - thanks to all of the wonderful influences from different cultures and countries and musical genres that have made tap dancing such a lively and dynamic form of dance.

A lot of dance studios differentiate between rhythm tap and Broadway tap for the purp…

What If There are No Adult Tap Classes Near Me?

Does this sound familiar? You're ready to take an adult tap class or some other dance class for adults. The only problem? You google 'adult tap classes near me' or 'tap classes in the north shore' and it turns out that most of the local studios don't offer adult tap classes or any other classes for the 18+ dance student.

You're probably thinking that there aren't adult tap classes because the demand just isn't there. That could be the case, but it's more likely that the problem isn't a lack of demand or a lack of dance classes for adults but both. Here's what I mean:

Adults go searching for tap classes or other dance classes, come up empty, and stop searching. Maybe they find one but are afraid to enroll because they're worried about making the commitment or being put into classes with kids. Then there are adults who want to dance don't bother looking for classes because everyone knows dance classes are just for kids, right?

Mea…

Why Dance Teachers LOVE Adult Students

When I was younger, I only ever taught kids' tap classes because that's really all there was in my area. So it was such a joy to get back into teaching tap dancing with a class that included adults! From there, I started teaching the occasional tap class that was adults-only, and I just loved every minute of it.

Don't for a second think that I don't absolutely adore my teen and tween tap dancers, but there's just something special about teaching tap to adult students., and I'd bet anything I'm not the only dance teacher out there who feels this way!

Here are just some of the reasons dance teachers love having adult students in their classes:

They come to dance classes pumped to learn

No one is pressuring the adults in my tap classes to be there. Coming to my class is not a studio requirement, or something they need to do to land a better part in the high school musical. Their parents didn't sign them up. It's true that most young students who take d…

I’m in Adult Dance Classes; Should I Be in the Recital?

So you've decided you want to sign up for adult tap classes (or adult jazz classes, adult ballet, or some other dance class) and you're feeling kind of nervous because you know all of the dance studios nearby have recitals.

Maybe you're nervous because there is just no way in heck you want to get up on stage with a bunch of kiddos and perform for an audience of parents and grandparents. Or maybe you're nervous because you actually do want to perform, but you've never been in a show before or you've had a tough time finding a studio that includes its adult dancers in the end of season recital.

Whatever the case may be, I have good news. If you want to take adult tap classes and have been wondering whether you should dance in the recital, here's what you need to know:

1. You should ask about recitals before you sign up. 

Some studios don't include their adult students in the recital or only certain adult classes perform. At other studios, all classes are e…

How to Do an Alexander... Or a Broadway or a Shirley Temple or a Rollercoaster

Did you know that unlike ballet terminology, which is pretty much fixed at this point, tap dance terminology can still differ a lot between dancers and between dance studios? Take the classic Alexander (flap - heel - heel - spank - heel - toe- heel)... or maybe your studio called it a Broadway. Or a rollercoaster... or a Shirley Temple! Who's right? I know some tap dancers have pretty strong ideas about what tap terminology is right and what tap terminology is wrong, but I tend to be more flexible.

One thing I try to make sure my tap dance students understand is that there are different ways to refer to different tap steps and they may encounter different tap terminology if they move to another studio, take a master class, or continue their dance education in college. It just makes sense to learn different terms for different tap steps.

As a teacher, I've been on the receiving end of a student telling me in no uncertain terms that the tap step I'm demonstrating to the clas…

11 Reasons Taking an Adult Dance Class Is a Great Idea

​A lot of people think of dance classes as a kid thing - one of those hobbies you quit after high school graduation. So they're surprised when I say I not only teach dance, but that some of my students at Dance Enthusiasm are adults and I also try to regularly take dance classes myself! The most common comment I get after telling people I dance is, "I wish I could take a dance class." And my response, without fail, is always, "Then do it!"

I get it... there are kind of a lot of reasons NOT to do it. Finding the time to take a dance class as an adult when you have a job or kids or both is hard. Maybe you're worried about being the only one in the class who doesn't know what you're doing. Or if you're a beginner, that you'll be in a class with teens or even kids! And I know a lot of us get intimidated just thinking about putting on dancewear.

But before I tell you just some of the reasons that taking an adult tap class or other dan…

Dance: Just Go Ahead and Do It!

When I tell someone I'm going to dance class, the reaction I get is often something like Gee, I wish I could do that. I can feel the curiosity and the surprise and just a little bit of envy. And sometimes maybe just a little confusion because dance class is for kids, right? But mostly I just get the sense that people are surprised because I'm taking a ballet, jazz, or tap dance class as an adult, which is just not something most people do when they're not involved in theater.


Taking a dance class for fun (or taking any other kind of class as an adult beginner) seems to be a relative rarity in my age group, but I don't think it's because people don't want to do new things. Tell someone you're taking a class - not an accounting class but a pottery class or a karate class or a photography class - and their eyes will light up and they'll say (or you'll know they're thinking), Gee, I wish I could do that.

Especially a dance class. But here…