Summer Format or Tech Ketchup

So basically from late January through June/July I have ben working on recital routines in my classes.  I did take a few weeks off here and there to work on technique but by and large I was working on routines.  Naturally when that happens I find the students (and my) technique suffers.  So as summer classes ramp up I have decided to focus almost exclusively on technique including omitting my longer combinations I usually do at the end of class.  I figured I'd share my summer class format with all of you:

First 10 minutes - Warm-up or as I call them "Drills".  I've never liked the term warm-ups for tap even though I use it.  As I get older it applies to me more and is more of a process of actually getting the body moving and warmed up but for most kids I teach - they come from other classes and are ready to go.  I prefer to call them drills because it is a chance in my view to drill steps they already know as well as easy steps and keep them strong.  We tend to think advanced tappers are automatically good at the easy stuff even if we don't drill them at it but that's not true.  Even advanced tappers will find the simple things getting rusty if they don't drill them from time to time.

Next 10 minutes - Across the floor.  I'm starting with simple things like flaps, flap heels and flap ball changes.  As I said above these things do get rusty when they haven't ben worked on.  I do combine them to make the kids think a little.

Next 10 minutes - Work on your own stuff.  I have the kids spread out, picke any step they want, and work on it for 10 minutes.  I think it's good for the kids to have some self directed time. It's good for them to take charge of their own tapping and not just wait for me to tell them what to do.  I walk around to each student while they're working and give them pointers to improve the steps they're working on.

Next 10 minutes - Turns.  I'm starting withe basic things like step heels and buffalos.

Next 10 minutes - One at a time.  A really nice commenter suggested the following:  when you go one at a time, after one person goes have everyone in the class do the step they were working on.  It was a brilliant suggestions and keeps the kids much more interested.  So this past week I had them get in a circle and each person could choose what step they wanted to do.  They did the step and then I asked them what they heard.  Some could tell me what was wrong and some could not.  If they couldn't tell what was wrong I asked the other kids what they thought.  Many times the other kids heard the mistakes.  If no one heard I repeated the steps doing the same mistake the kid did but exaggerated it so the kids could more easily hear it and sometimes that would help them to hear it.  So after each person went everyone else would do the step they did twice just to get a chance to tap.  It went really well.  It has ben the best set-up for going one at a time I've ever used.

Next 10 minutes - Wings and Time Steps.  I find wings are largely a question of strength once you understand the basic mechanics.  Repetition builds strength.  Also it was good to review time steps.

Overall this format worked well and I look forward to seeing how it goes for the rest of the summer.  I'll keep you updated.


















Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Thanks for having this blog! I am trying to decide how to get my students to enjoy tap and think it's cool and not just see it as dancing to oldies in shiny tap shoes. You have great ideas.

    I just started a blog about what I'm learning as a dance teacher (chroniclesofadanceteacher.blogspot.com) so it's nice to see a good blog to get ideas from.

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  3. Your blog is great - I like the idea about making them tap out a melody - I might use that this week!

    Rod

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  4. I did take a few weeks off here and there to work on technique but by and large I was working on routines.

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    Replies
    1. Wow that took a lot of work! It looks great. you really captured that old MGM musical feel. Well done!

      Rod

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  6. I love this! This is such a great blog. Thnaks for the inspirations. Do you have suggestions lesson plan on different turns to do across the floor?

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    1. I would recommend checking my syllabus http://www.tapdancesyllabus.com which has videos of which turns I teach at which levels. Hope that helps:)

      Rod

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  7. Thank you for sharing your insight about using dance .

    ________
    keyboard classes in jaipur

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