A Beginner’s Guide to Your First Tap Dance Class

by | Apr 1, 2024

Tap dancing is an art form that combines intricate footwork, rhythm, and musicality to create expressive movements that captivate audiences, and if you’ve ever seen our instructor, Aaron, in action, you know what we mean! If you’re considering stepping into your first tap dance class, you’re in for a treat! This beginner’s guide will help you understand what to expect in your inaugural tap dance experience, from the basics of footwork to the joy of making music with your feet.

1. Getting Started: Before you get to the studio for your first class, you’ll need to dress the part. You are welcome to wear anything you like (we recommend something you can move in that you would normally wear to a fitness class) and your tap shoes. Tap shoes have metal plates on the sole and heel, which create distinct sounds when tapped against the floor. There is a tap shoe lending library on-island, or you can wear hard sole leather shoes. You can also grab a pair of shoes online for less than $30. Here are the links:




2. The Set-up: As you enter Waikapu Danceworks, you’ll be greeted by the most awesome fellow students and your instructor. You can put your personal belongings in the pukas, grab your tap shoes, and head to your spot on the dancefloor. You’ll see special flooring so your shoes don’t damage our beautiful hardwood floors.

3. The Warm-Up: Before diving into the choreography, your instructor will lead the class through a series of warm-up exercises to loosen up your muscles and get your heart pumping. Expect a combination of stretches, cardio movements, and rhythm exercises designed to prepare your body for the footwork ahead.

4. Learning the Basics: In your first tap dance class, you’ll start with the fundamentals of tap technique. Your instructor will break down basic steps such as shuffles, flaps, and brushes, teaching you how to create different sounds and rhythms with your feet. Don’t worry if you find the movements challenging at first – tap dance is all about practice and repetition.

5. Finding Your Rhythm: As you become more comfortable with the basic steps, your instructor will begin to layer on more complex combinations and sequences. You’ll learn how to syncopate your steps, play with different tempos, and add dynamics to your movements. Finding your rhythm is key to mastering tap dance, so don’t be afraid to let loose and experiment with different accents and variations.

6. Embracing Musicality: One of the most rewarding aspects of tap dance is the opportunity to express yourself through music. As you dance, you’ll learn to listen to the rhythm of the music and sync your steps with the beat. Pay attention to the nuances of the music – the pauses, accents, and changes in tempo – and let them inspire your movements.

 7. Building Confidence: Tap dance is as much about confidence as it is about technique. As you progress in your practice, you’ll gain confidence in your abilities and develop your own unique style. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or try new things – every misstep is an opportunity to learn and grow as a dancer.

Stepping into your first tap dance class is an exciting opportunity to explore the art of rhythm and movement. By knowing what to expect and approaching the class with an open mind and a willingness to learn, you’ll set yourself up for a rewarding and enjoyable experience. So lace up your tap shoes, feel the music, and let your feet do the talking – you’re about to embark on a journey that will bring joy, rhythm, and creativity into your life.

All are welcome at Waikapu Danceworks! If you have questions, or want more information about the Tap Shoe Lending Library, reach out!

Curious about what else you can expect in your first classes at Waikapu Danceworks? Read our blog What to Expect in Your First Class at Waikapu Danceworks.