TAP DANCE CLASSES IN OAKLEIGH MELBOURNE

Integrating Gymnastics & Dance for Over 30 Years 

TAP DANCE CLASSES FOR KIDS IN MELBOURNE

We offer classes in all genders, ages and skills levels.

Tap for Kids 5 – 8 years – 45 mins

The children’s tap lesson teaches rhythm, coordination and includes literally learning the craft of making music with your feet. We draw on a range of technical tap syllabuses to form a class that is fresh, exciting and fun. The class begins on the barre where the kids learn to loosen their ankles and tap in time with the music. The class progresses to centre work and includes clapping rhythms and stomping to the music. A routine is taught each week and developed throughout the term.

Tap for Tweens 8 – 13 years – 1 hour

The tween tap lesson develops more complex rhythms and style with the addition of up body positioning and gestures. The class begins on the barre where the kids learn to go through a series of exercises to maintain lose ankles and achieve clear beats. The clarity of sound is a focus at this age plus the accumulation of steps.   The class progresses to centre work and moving steps across the room. A routine is taught each week and developed throughout the term.

Tap for Teenagers 14 -18 years – 1.5 hour

The teenage tap lesson develops greater complex rhythms and style with the addition of even more up body positioning and gestures. The class begins on the barre where the teenagers might develop difficult turns and beats. It quickly progresses to the centre and routines are polished and developed.

About Tap Dance:

Tap dance is a form of dance characterized by using the sounds of tap shoes striking the floor as a form of percussion. The sound is made by shoes that have a metal "tap" on the heel and toe. There are several major variations on tap dance including: rhythm (jazz) tap, classical tap, Broadway tap, and post-modern tap. Broadway tap is rooted in English theatrical tradition and often focuses on formations, choreography and generally less complex rhythms; it is widely performed in musical theater. Rhythm tap focuses on musicality, and practitioners consider themselves to be a part of the jazz tradition. Classical tap has a similarly long tradition which marries European "classical" music with American foot drumming with a wide variation in full-body expression. Post-modern or contemporary tap has emerged over the last three decades to incorporate abstract expression, thematic narrative and technology.

There are different brands of shoes which sometimes differ in the way they sound. "Soft-shoe" is a rhythm form of tap dancing that does not require special shoes, and though rhythm is generated by tapping of the feet, it also uses sliding of the feet (even sometimes using scattered sand on the stage to enhance the sound of sliding feet) more often than modern rhythm tap. It preceded what is currently considered to be modern tap, but has since declined in popularity.

Tap dancers make frequent use of syncopationChoreography typically starts on the eighth or first beatcount. Another aspect of tap dancing is improvisation. Tap dancing can either be done with music following the beats provided, or without musical accompaniment; the latter is known as "a cappella tap dancing".

Hoofers are tap dancers who dance primarily "closer to the floor", using mostly footwork and not showing very much arm or body movement.[11] This kind of tap dancing, also called rhythm tap, was employed by slaves in America.[citation needed] Because the slaves were generally not allowed to practice their own culture and customs, they mixed their form of dancing with Irish stepdance to create tap dances that could be concealed from slave owners and over-seers.[citation needed] This is the origin of tap and what later evolved into (what most people know as tap now) "show tap", because it uses more arm movement. This form evolved because show tap was thought to be more exciting to watch and became famous when show tap was put on Broadway.[citation needed]

Steve Condos developed an innovative rhythmic tap style that influenced the work of later tap dancers such as Gregory Hines and Savion Glover. The majority of early hoofers, such as Sammy Davis Jr., Glover, Hines, and LaVaughn Robinson were African American men.[citation needed] Savion Glover helped bring tap dance into mainstream media by choreographing Happy Feet, a film about a tap dancing penguin. Another well-known tap film is 1989's Tap, starring Gregory Hines and many old-time hoofers.

Early tappers like Fred Astaire provided a more ballroom look to tap dancing, while Gene Kelly introduced ballet elements and style into tap. This style of tap led to what is today known as Broadway style, which is popular in American culture. It often involves high heeled tap shoes and show music, and is usually the type of tap first taught to beginners. Examples of this style are found in Broadway musicals such as Anything Goes and 42nd Street.

Common tap steps include the shuffle, shuffle ball change, double shuffle, leap shuffle, hop shuffle, flap, flap ball change, running flaps, flap heel, cramproll, buffalo, Maxi Ford, Maxi Ford with a pullback, pullbacks, wings, Cincinnati, the shim sham shimmy (also called the Lindy), Irish, waltz clog, the paddle roll, the paradiddle, stomp, brushes, scuffs, spanks, riffs, and single and double toe punches, hot steps, heel clicks, time steps, over-the-tops, military time step, New Yorkers, Shiggy Bops, drawbacks, and chugs. In advanced tap dancing, basic steps are often combined together to create new steps. Many steps also have single, double, and triple versions, including pullbacks, timesteps, and drawbacks. In tap, various types of turns can be done, including step heel turns, Maxi Ford turns, cramproll turns, and drag turns. Timesteps are widely used in tap and can vary in different areas. These consist of a rhythm that is changed to make new timesteps by adding or removing steps.

Tap dancing can also be done using an a cappella method, in which no musical accompaniment is provided and dancers creating their own "music" through the sounds of their taps.

In group tap dances, the steps are typically kept simple and easy to control. The group of dancers must work together to create the sound, keeping their steps at the correct speed to match each other.

Tap dance has its roots in the fusion of several ethnic percussive dances, including African tribal dances, English clog dancing and Irish jigs; the relative contribution of different traditions is a point of disagreement among historians and dance scholars.[1] Tap dance is believed to have begun in the mid-1800s during the rise of minstrel shows. Famous as Master Juba, William Henry Lane became one of the few black performers to join an otherwise white minstrel troupe, and is widely considered to be one of the most famous forebears of tap dance.

As the minstrel shows began to decline in popularity, tap dance moved to the increasingly popular Vaudeville stage. Due to the two-colored rule, which forbade black people from performing solo, the majority of Vaudeville tap acts were duets.[2] This gave rise to the famous pair "Buck and Bubbles", which consisted of John "Bubbles" Sublett tap dancing and Ford "Buck" Washington on piano. The duo perfected the "class act", a routine in which the performers wore impeccable tuxedos, which has since become a common theme in tap dance. The move is seen by some as a rebuttal to the older minstrel show idea of the tap dancer as a "grinning-and-dancing clown." John "Bubbles" Sublett is also known famously for popularizing rhythm tap which incorporates more percussive heel drops and lower-body movements.[3][4]

Another notable figure to emerge during this period is Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, who was a protégé of Alice Whitman of the Whitman Sisters around 1904 (then 'Willie Robinson').[5] Well-versed in both Buck and Wing dancing and Irish stepdancing, Bill Robinson joined the vaudeville circuit in 1902, in a duo with George W. Cooper. The act quickly became famous, headlining events across the country, and touring England as well. In 1908, however, the two had an altercation, and the partnership was ended. Gambling on his popularity, Robinson decided to form a solo act, which was extremely rare for a black man at that time.[6] Despite this, he had tremendous success and soon became a world-famous celebrity.[2] He went on to have a leading role in many films, notably in movies starring Shirley Temple.

Shortly thereafter, the Nicholas Brothers came on the scene. Consisting of real-life brothers Fayard and Harold, this team wowed audiences with their acrobatic feats incorporated into their classy style of dancing. They never looked less than suave and were always in total control of their dancing, even in childhood numbers such as Stormy Weather.[7] A notable scene in the movie Stormy Weather features the pair dancing up a staircase and then descending the staircase in a series of leapfrogs over each other into a full split from which they rise without using their hands.

During the 1930s tap dance mixed with Lindy hop. "Flying swing-outs" and "flying circles" are Lindy hop moves with tap footwork. In the mid- to late 1950s, the style of entertainment changed. Jazz music and tap dance declined, while rock and roll and the new jazz dance emerged. What is now called jazz dance evolved out of tap dance, so both dances have many moves in common. But jazz evolved separately from tap dance to become a new form in its own right. Well-known dancers during the 1960s and 1970s included Arthur Duncan and Tommy Tune.

No Maps on My Taps, the Emmy award-winning PBS documentary of 1979, helped begin the recent revival of tap dance. The outstanding success of the animated filmHappy Feet, has further reinforced the popular appeal.[8] National Tap Dance Day in the United States, now celebrated May 25, was signed into law by President George Bush on November 7, 1989. (May 25 was chosen because it is the birthday of famous tapper Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.) Prominent modern tap dancers have included Sarah ReichBrenda BufalinoMelinda SullivanThe Clark BrothersSavion GloverGregory and Maurice HinesLaVaughn RobinsonJason Samuels SmithChloe ArnoldMichelle DorranceDulé Hill and Dianne "Lady Di" Walker.[9][10] Indie-pop band Tilly and the Wall also features a tap dancer, Jamie Pressnall, tapping as percussion. A more present-day, influential tap dancer is Anthony Morigerato. A few examples of his accomplishments are as follows: He is the executive director and choreographer for the New York City based AM Productions, soloist in Michael Minery's "Tapaholics," has performed on stages all over the world and even made an appearance on NBC's America's Got Talent, and has served as an adjudicator and master teacher for multiple dance organizations throughout the nation since 1999. (http://gonuvo.com/faculty#modal)

 

 

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OUR DANCE CLASSES

We combine the grace and skills of classical ballet training, include various styles of dance, folk dance, lyrical jazz, modern, and contemporary. Infinity Gymnastics and Dance in Melbourne initially began as a platform for Rhythmic Gymnastics training from Glen Iris and has since developed into an interdisciplinary program offering a range of classes including training in ballet, hip hop, lyrical jazz, modern, contemporary, stretching & flexibility.

Hip-Hop

Hip-hop is a dance style, usually danced to hip-hop music, that evolved from the hip-hop culture. It includes a wide range of styles primarily breaking.

Jazz

Jazz dance is an umbrella term encompassing several different styles of dance that became popular in the early 20th-century.

Ballet

Ballet is said to be a combination of choreography and art, scenic design, lighting, costume, graceful movements and usually solemn music.

Musical Theatre

Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting, dance and emotional content of humor, love and anger.

Tap

Tap dance, style of dance in which a dancer wearing shoes fitted with heel and toe taps sounds out audible beats by rhythmically striking the floor or any other hard surface.

Contemporary

Contemporary dance is a style of expressive dance that combines elements of severaldance genres including modern, jazz, lyrical and classical ballet.

CONTACT US

INSTILLING A LOVE OF DANCE AT OUR INFINITY STUDIO

At Infinity Gymnastics & Dance, we strive to integrate all disciplines to perfect coordination, musicality, flexibility, strength, and stamina and believe learning dance should be FUN! Behind the scenes, our programme has been carefully crafted to ensure little dancers are fully prepared for a life of the purposeful movement.

We provide strong foundations of dance, without harming little bodies, and we aim to broaden the love of dance and music in young children by exposing them to a wide range of dance and music. Infinity is the perfect introduction to the world of dance for toddlers and preschoolers!

Your kids will love the chance the explore rhythm and movement in the variety of fun dance classes offered at the Infinity Gymnastics & Dance located in Oakleigh. Kids ages 3-16 years can choose from Ballet, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Tap, Contemporary, Lyrical, Acrobatics or Hip-Hop. Also, for our youngest of dance lovers, join us for the new Little Gym - Bubs class with live music and fun gymnastics & dancing for children ages 4-12 months accompanied by mum or dad. All classes are taught in our spacious dance/gym studio.