Colburn’s Tap Dance Program is an embodied music education. Students are taught to read percussion music and then physically manifest those rhythms, cultivating their bodies as articulate musical instruments.
Introduction to tap technique and the proper use of legs and loose ankles for accurate sound production. Students will learn the basic rudiments and weight placement. Terminology is emphasized. Using basic rudiments, students are asked to dance and understand the value of quarter notes, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes. This class meets once a week.
Tap I or previous tap study is required for this class. While continuing to develop proper technique students advance their tap skills by learning to connect the steps to the musical time and begin to produce clarity of sound. More movement and turns across the floor with proper use of arms is practiced. The class continues to emphasize and expand terminology and music skills. This class meets once a week.
Two years previous tap instruction is required for this class. Students advance their practice and develop the ability to dance more complicated combinations and steps. Stronger co-ordination of arms and legs allows for more movement and to develop individual style. Improvisation is introduced and practiced with more advanced music instruction. This class meets once a week and deepens presentational performance skills.
Two years of previous tap training is required for this class. This class develops clear technical and terminology skills as well as focusing on presentational performance skills. Emphasis is placed on students’ ability to pick up combinations and steps and apply them to their overall performance. Listening skills help students to improve their musical time and associate more closely with the music they play with their taps.
Fridays with Melinda Sullivan, 5:30-7pm
Tap III is a prerequisite, or four years previous tap training is required. This class prepares students who are serious about joining our performing ensembles and allows the opportunity to have an additional performance during the year. In this more advanced class, students are working at a higher level of technique and more complicated rhythms and combinations. Tap vocabulary will expand and include more athletic and challenging steps building on their training. Music study will advance and allow Improvisation to lead tap artists to their individual sound and style. This class meets twice weekly.
This class is designed to give dancers who want to deepen their tap study or increase their versatility in dance. It is most helpful for Musical Theatre Artists who need tap training to be competitive and also gives those who simply love to tap a weekly class. Basic technique, terminology and music skills are practiced weekly. Dancers are required to have at least two years tap training for this class that meets once per week.
Fridays: 7-8:30pm with Melinda Sullivan
Auditions are required for Intermediate Tap Ensemble. Students who have been studying with our Colburn tap faculty will be considered for this performing ensemble and if accepted, will progress their tap technique and music skills with three different faculty instructors. More advanced and challenging choreography is introduced as well as demanding dance movement, emphasizing performance quality. Continued music study and tap history is crucial for this ensemble. By this stage of development, students will be improvising easily. Learning how to work with fellow dancers on stage and in class is an important lesson in building our tap community and allowing for the best in all students.
Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30pm with Johnnie Hobbs III in Studio B
Wednesdays, 6:30-8pm: with Joseph Wiggan in Studio B
Saturdays, 2:30-4pm with Denise Scheerer in Studio B
As the most advanced level offered, students will have additional performances and master class opportunities. This class advances serious and committed tap artists to their full potential and skill level. Group and solo dancing are explored as well as learning traditional and original choreography by master teachers. Tap artists will also be encouraged to create their own choreography. Full understanding of music and percussion allows students to improvise with confidence and have the ability to tap in time and accurately as a group or individually. Tap history study is included. Auditions are required for students who have not been trained in the Colburn tap program. This class meets three times per week with a variety of Colburn tap faculty.
Thursdays: 6:30-8pm: Tap with Johnnie Hobbs III
Saturdays: 11:30am-1pm: Tap with Melinda Sullivan
Saturdays: 1:00-2:30pm: Repertoire with Denise Scheerer