Absolute Beginner Tap Class Cheat Sheet – Part 1

For beginner students, here is a list of some basic tap steps to be used as a reference when practicing.

Check out the Red Hot Rhythm’s brand-new video course, ‘Just TAP!’ which teaches these steps and more in detail, making tap dance easy, and helping you get your tap journey off to a flying start: How to tap dance!

Basic standing still steps:

1. Straight Tap (aka Nerve Beat): Toe tap only.

2. Ball, Heel (2 beats, RR): Dig the toe tap, and without lifting the toe tap off the ground, drop the heel tap straight down.

3. Shuffle (2 Beats, RR): Forward brush, then backward brush (Toe only, and making sure the main movement is up and down, as opposed to forward and back)

4. Shuffle Ball Heel (4 Beats, RRRR): Forward brush, backward brush, ball dig, heel drop (Repeat on other side and practice getting faster)

5. 4 Beat Heel Pick-up (aka Paddle Roll): (4 Beats, RRRR) Heel Dig, Slap up (toe), ball dig, heel drop (Repeat on other side and practice getting faster)

6. Cramp Rolls (4 Beats, RLRL, With a small jump): Ball, Ball, Heel Drop, Heel Drop (Alternate: RLLR or LRRL)

Basic moving steps:

1. Tap-Step (aka Fa-lap. 2 Beats, RR): Forward brush, ball step (Repeat each side, moving forward)

2. Tap-Spring: Same as a tap-step, but with a small spring after the forward brush.

3. Tap-Step Heel (3 Beats, RRR): As above, with a heel drop at the end (3 beats)

4. Tap-Step, Ball-Change (4 Beats, RRLR): Forward brush, ball step, ball step (back foot), Stamp (front foot). Repeat each side.

5. Tap-Spring Shuffle Heel (5 Beats, RRLLR): Tap-spring [R], Shuffle [L], Heel [R]. Repeat other side.

6. Pick-up Heel (Moving backwards. 3 Beats, RRR): [Lift toe] Slap up (toe), ball dig, heel drop.

6. 3 Beat step, moving backwards (RLR): Ball dig behind [R], [Lift L Toe] Slap up, Heel drop [R]. Repeat on other side (LRL)

Remember: keep it small to get it fast!


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2 Responses

    • Thanks Margot – and you’re welcome!

      …also, please forgive the horrendously late reply on your comment. Honestly not sure how it slipped by me!

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