Hey y’all! I also was able to Q&A a local college student, Lisa Smith, about her feelings and thoughts about tap. She attends Texas A&M University and is majoring in dance. Check it out!
What are your feelings about tap? What do you like about it?
I love tap dancing. There is a freedom about it that is invigorating. It is a matching of sounds like a drummer. A tapper strives to copy or compliment the beat within the music. As your skills improve, you can achieve a feeling of flying across the dance floor in a flurry of motion exhibiting great joy and passion!
What made you start tap? Why did you stick with it?
I started tap as part of a combination class for ballet and tap, really wanting to take ballet. But once I had those tiny tap shoes on my feet and heard the different, fun noises I could make with the various movements of my feet, I was hooked! It was so much fun and just made me happy! I had to learn more and the more complicated and more sounds I could achieve, the better I liked it.
Personally, what do you believe the appeal of tap as a dance style is as compared to other styles?
I think the greatest appeal of tap is anyone can do it from very young to old, male to female, and novice to advanced, and you can dance it! The simplest of steps when presented in the right manner can look and sound impressive. Also, there does not seem to be the gender gap that seems to plague so many other art forms like Ballet. Male tap dancing is acceptable (similar to Hip-Hop) and even considered preferable by some. Most of the famous tappers I could name of the top of my head are all male.
Do you feel that tap is under stated in the dance market? Why or why not?
Tap definitely gets overlooked in the dance world. Many times at dance competition there would be little to almost no tap solos, duet, trios or even group dances. Good tappers make it look easy thus making it seem to not be as physically and mentally challenging as other forms of dance. Those who tap know what a lie that truly is! In tap dancing, your feet never stop moving. Your feet are generally moving at a fast pace and yet your arms are moving in a slow, fluid movement. Think of rubbing your stomach and tapping your head at the same time…. not everyone can do that. Tap is basically the same concept. Now add in the clicking of your heels, toes, shuffles, spins, leaps, and traveling across the dance floor and you have an exciting, mentally and physically challenging dance to match any other form of dance.
Many universities do not have tap classes in their dance programs. Why do you think tap is missing from various college dance programs?
Lack of interest and lack of instructors could be why universities don’t offer more tap classes, especially at advanced levels. Until recently, tap was not as featured on Broadway or other form of entertainment. I hope this will change and I wish I had been able to take some advanced tap classes here in college.