Why is tap important?
Tap teaches dancers a wide range of lessons essential to their training. First is the value of musicality. Right off the bat, tap requires the student to pay close attention to the music and figure out how to work within the range given. In all areas of dance, music is a very important tool. Working with, or even against the music adds an interesting layer to the art form that proves to be immensely helpful and entertaining.
Yes, tap is demanding and can be very difficult at times. This genre offers students a means to build endurance and brainpower and enhances the muscle memory necessary for executing extensive choreography. Quitting is not an option! The more a dancer works at a step, the more rewarding it will be when they finally hit it. This journey is exciting and helps work ethic and motivation. It demonstrates how hard work really does pay off!
In addition, tap helps a great deal with a dancer’s coordination, balance, and posture. In many instances, the upper body will remain calm while the lower body is moving quickly and precisely. Also, continually shifting your weight from foot to foot takes a lot of control and exercises deep muscles that can assist your dancing in other styles.
Lastly, simply put, tap is entertaining! Many audience members who are not dancers find tap to be the easiest style to relate to and follow. There is a sound to every move, which stimulates multiple sensory elements at the same time. Paired with upbeat music, slow instrumentals, or a cappella, tap does it all. In a way, dancers are not only dancing, but also creating music with their feet!
There are a million other benefits to studying tap including acquiring an additional skill, building ankle strength, and a great overall aerobic workout. It would take too long to touch on every single one, but in the end, tap holds a great deal of importance and should never be overlooked.
Jenny Rose Kineavy is a TOCD alumni who graduated in 2015. She currently attends the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she is working to obtain a BFA in Dance alongside a Minor Degree in Creative Writing.