THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE – CONNECTION
Connection to the music
Connection to the soul of the choreography they are tapping
Connection to the rhythm of the piece
Connection to the JOY of tapping
Connection to the accents in the steps and rhythms
Connection to the audience.
Connection to themselves and the story they are telling with their feet
Connection really is key and I have found that the best way to access this sense of connection is to have the student really think about why they are tapping.
They really need to give every step and rhythm a reason and a story.
From the littlest of tappers – say 5 & 6 years – all the way up I am constantly amazed at the “magic” that can appear from out of nowhere, once I can get them to tap into their own connection with what they are tapping.
The same step and piece of choreography can take on so many different elements and twists, once the student is truly connected to it emotionally and invested in telling a story whilst tapping the steps. The accents become little punctuation marks in their story and their personality becomes a highlighter pen that brings it all to life in an incredibly special way.
Not only does this create a more enjoyable experience for the people watching but it also infuses the student with a zest and passion for what they are doing that gives it so much more fun.
Tap becomes so much more fun!
So – I encourage you to get your students to really listen to the music and the rhythms and to discuss what it says to them. Are they walking down the beach, inviting a friend to a party, having a competition, looking at crabs running along a beach and trying to catch them, being a princess, a cowboy etc etc etc
If they can not tell you what the music says to them, who they are in the moment and why they are tapping – then they are missing an integral part of the puzzle and the piece that really will take their tapping to the next level.
This is such an important aspect of tapping that is often not nurtured or thought about – but exactly what you see in all the greats both past and present – story telling and JOY.
So – with that knowledge in hand – let’s get that tapping reaching new heights and make the connection. Adding that element of individuality and expression is key for the modern tapper. Listen to the music, give each and every step and accent in the choreography a real meaning and story and your tapping will be GOLD.
As I always say – Love Tap and Pass It On
– Christine –