Updated: Nov 11, 2019
Tap is often seen as a dying form of dance and it isn’t taken seriously. As someone who says tap is one of their favorite styles, I hate to hear this, and I disagree. It is frustrating to see it not respected or represented though. Take So You Think You Can Dance for example, the only time tap routines are done on the show is when a contestant specializes in it as ‘their style’. Contestants are pushed to do other styles outside their comfort zone but rarely tap (there have been a few exceptions when a non-tapper has been paired with a partner that does tap and then they will do a tap number). Tap has not garnered the respect that other dance forms have in the concert space. This is largely due to the fact it was initially a black art form that came from the streets, so it has not amassed the same value as ballet.
Not only is tap a joy to do, it is so much fun to view. Tap is not dying and there are people and organizations actively trying to bring tap more into the limelight, like it deserves. Savion Glover, who has performed with White Bird before, is a Tony award winner that makes his living off of loving, teaching, and performing tap. Syncopated Ladies, founded by Chloe Arnolds, is a viral sensation that has incredible achievements such as performing on Good Morning America and having their own full length concert. There are annual tap festivals world-wide going on in exciting places like Detroit, Arkansas, New Orleans, Croatia, Stockholm, Brazil, and Portland! Incredible tap companies are successfully touring like Caleb Teicher & Company, who is a part of White Bird’s upcoming season’s Uncaged Series. Tap needs to be celebrated more and what better way to get people excited about it than by engaging them in it, which is exactly what I am doing here.
Below are three different tap moves that when put together in a combination will make a rhythm. So your job is to pick a combination and then watch the corresponding video to hear your unique rhythm! The only rule is that you only use each step once. I would love to be able to let you pick multiples of a step, but if I did that there would be 27 possible outcomes and I doubt anyone wants to scroll through that many videos to find their own sequence. This way there are only 6 possible outcomes which is much more reasonable. Just a warning, I may take slight artistic liberty when it comes to making a step a pick up or a single/double. Once you're done creating and listening to your tap rhythm go learn more about Caleb Teicher & Company on our website and buy tickets to see their show, on sale August 16th!!
Create your rhythm by combining these three steps in any order. You'll find they combine better in some ways than they do in others, but that is part of the fun!!
ABC- Maxie Ford, Paradiddle, Pullback
ACB- Maxie Ford, Pullback, Paradiddle
BAC- Paradiddle, Maxie Ford, Pullback
BCA- Paradiddle, Pullback, Maxie Ford
CAB- Pullback, Maxie Ford, Paradiddle
CBA- Pullback, Paradiddle, Maxie Ford