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Tap dancing is characterized by the use of special shoes with a metal ‘tap’ on the heel and toe which produce sounds when struck against the floor. There are two main types of tap: 'Broadway' tap focuses on the dance aspect of the style whereas 'rhythm' or 'jazz' tap is centred on the use of tap as a percussion instrument.

Class standards and Guidelines


  • Shuffles, flaps
  • riffs up to 5 beats, cramp-rolls up to 5 beats
  • Paddles
  • Shuffle & pick-up time steps (single & double at least)
  • Pick-ups on two feet, pick-up on one foot, pick-up change
  • Waltz step
  • (Suzie –Q)

  • Riffs up to 6 and 7 beats, cramp rolls up to 6 beats
  • 3-beat shuffles, double shuffles, scuffles (and possibly double scuffles)
  • Pick-ups on two feet, pick-up on one foot, pick-up change, pullbacks (preferably on balls of feet)
  • Shuffle pick-up change
  • Wing preparation and wings on two feet
  • Maxi-ford
  • Must be secure in using syncopation, cross accenting and cross phrasing

For a more information on the history of tap dance, have a look at these sites:

For the best way to walk up a flight of stairs check out Bojangles’ step dance:

And for a ‘tap off’ between street and riverdance tap styles, see this amazing performance:

Fancy trying out tap for yourself? Check out our timetable here.