Absolute Beginner Tap Class Cheat Sheet – Part 1

Welcome, aspiring tap dancers!

It’s great to have you here, and I hope you’re feeling excited. As promised, below is a list of the most important tap steps. Use it as a reference when learning, and refining the fundamentals of tap dance. These are the steps that will truly pave the way for your own ‘tap dance happiness’.

For a video break down of these steps and much more, check out Red Hot Rhythm’s acclaimed video course, ‘Just TAP’ which helps people all over the world to learn tap dance in their own space, at their own pace:

Learn how to tap dance!

“I cannot think of a better way to start (or restart) tap dance.”
– Glen Damro (Age 50)

(Part 1)

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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