Skill Level Descriptions
A beginner’s a beginner. You should not have any prior dance experience to begin taking tap. Sometimes beginner classes can seem repetitive but you must learn the basics before you can progress. Beginner classes starting with a warm up and simple footwork combinations, you will eventually progress to across the floor movements and longer choreography segments. Hard work and patience is key for a beginner. Tap has fundamental elements that can be used in many different styles of dance and will improve your rhythm, musicality, and coordination.
NOTE TO ALL BEGINNERS
Recital studio tap classes are recreational and less strict. These are classes for the beginner dancers. In most cases, only after experience in recital classes does one work up to the competition level studio classes. Some studios will allow a hard working dancer to take higher level company or competition classes to allow them to progress at a faster pace.
See “How to Choose a Dance Studio” section.
Intermediate dancers have been in tap classes for at least two years. Most intermediate recital classes are a bit more strict and require you to make up a missed class or learn the work from another dancer if you are absent. At this level, competition tap and tap company work require a strict in-class schedule and attendance to every class is mandatory. Flexibility and stamina should match most of the other dancers in the class however this is not always the case.
A beginner can naturally be super flexible while an advanced tap dancer might struggle in that particular area but excel in others. Intermediate tap classes require more difficult combinations along with an expected understanding of the dance language and terms. If you or your child have reached the level of intermediate, prepare for higher intensity and potentially a larger time commitment depending on the studio.
A beginner is usually not allowed to take an advanced tap class; lack of prior knowledge alone will prohibit the dancer from keeping up and getting the most out of the class. Advanced tap classes will utilize intricate footwork, difficult musicality, and a fast paced teaching style. Without the basic knowledge acquired from beginner and intermediate classes, you simply will not be able to benefit as much from the class since you will be playing catch-up the entire time.
At least five years of prior dance lessons should usually be required for advanced class. These classes will most likely be for professional or pre-professional dancers looking for advanced performance opportunities or high intensity training and preparation for the industry.