Network Session October 2022: Dancing in Step – UK Tap and Step dancers from the archives

Network Session October 2022: Dancing in Step – UK Tap and Step dancers from the archives

During the first half of the 20th Century, many British dance performers were both Tap dancers and Step or Clog dancers.

Step dancer Simon Ramsey-Harmer takes us on a trip into the Instep Research Team archives to share images and footage of famous dancers such as Sam Sherry. Their repertoire gives us an insight into the way that steps and styles of percussive dance developed in the UK during this period.

Simon Harmer is a dancer, teacher and choreographer well known in the folk dance world. He has learnt from some of the most renowned English step dancers. He is a Trustee of the Instep Research Team, a charity whose focus is clog and step dancing. Whilst an enthusiastic researcher into the background of these dance forms he is also interested in collaborating with dancers from other genres and creating new material.
His recent projects are:
Steps From The Heart with Ottawa Valley step dancer April Verch (April Verch Steps From The Heart)
Footwork – The Show with fiddle player and composer Lewis Wood (Footwork – New Album and Live Show | Lewis Wood (lewiswoodmusic.co.uk)
Network Session September 2022: Tap Dance Notations – Teaching through different learning modes

Network Session September 2022: Tap Dance Notations – Teaching through different learning modes

Wednesday 21st September 2022 19:00 GMT | 11:00 PDT | 14:00 EST/EDT | 20:00 CEST FREE

Book here

Susan Filipiak will lead discussion around tap dance notation methods, uses and opportunities before we open the floor for group discussion.

Tap dancers all have their most favorite, comfortable learning strategy – be it visual, aural, spatial, verbal, musical, kinesthetic.  To reach all their students, and especially beginners of all ages, tap teachers need to utilize all learning modes.  

Susan Filipiak will lead discussion in using the spoken and written mode.  Looking at tap dance notation systems (Stanley Kahn, Joan Hill, and her own “Tap Alphabet” she designed for children), Susan will show the strengths of including a linguistic approach to teaching tap dance.

Susan Filipiak, Dexter, Michigan, US, recently retired after 40 years of teaching dance.   She was happy to learn from the master/mentors and was proud to carry forth their history, choreography, and lessons.  Susan spent equal time teaching in her studio, in higher education, and in regular K-12 classrooms (bringing dance into the classroom).

As well as sharing ideas, techniques and resources, we will open the floor for you to have group conversations, ask questions and share your own approaches.

Network Session January 2022: Teaching Tap – Repertoire

Network Session January 2022: Teaching Tap – Repertoire

TDRN UK Network Session: Teaching Tap – Repertoire

Tuesday 18 January 2022 19:30 GMT | 11:30 PDT | 14:30 EST/EDT | 20:30 CEST FREE

Book here

The next few sessions will focus on key areas of tap dance teaching and education. In each session, Trish Melton and other members of the group, will share their thoughts and experiences from their own teaching practice and research in tap dance pedagogy.

We are fortunate that today we still have access to Tap Dance Masters who have a link to the originators of iconic, authentic tap dance repertory.  In this discussion Dr Trish Melton will share ways to incorporate repertory in our tap dance classes to develop our knowledge of tap dance origins, our understanding of jazz music and the structure of historical repertory routines.  She will discuss the importance of acknowledging our teachers and the provenance of the repertory.

As well as sharing ideas, techniques and resources, we will open the floor for you to have group conversations, ask questions and share your own “research-in-progress” to gain feedback in developing your own approaches. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the future development of tap dance teaching.

Network Session November 2021: Teaching Tap – Online

Network Session November 2021: Teaching Tap – Online

Tuesday 16 November 2021 19:30 GMT | 11:30 PDT | 14:30 EST/EDT | 20:30 CEST FREE

Book here

The next few sessions will focus on key areas of tap dance teaching and education. In each session, Trish Melton and other members of the group, will share their thoughts and experiences from their own teaching practice and research in tap dance pedagogy.

The COVID pandemic has challenged us as tap dance teachers as we converted to virtual delivery of our classes. As studios reopened there was a collective sign of relief as some bid a farewell to zoom – but for others there has been a benefit to this rethinking of our pedagogy and how we can effectively deliver when on-line.

Dr Trish Melton will discuss her research on the  benefits of on-line teaching and what delivering on-line can support when we return to the studio. Approaches to hybrid teaching will also be discussed.

As well as sharing ideas, techniques and resources, we will open the floor for you to have group conversations, ask questions and share your own “research-in-progress” to gain feedback in developing your own approaches.

Network Session October 2021: Tap Cafe – Open Space

Network Session October 2021: Tap Cafe – Open Space

Thursday 14 October 19:30 BST | 11:30 PDT | 14:30 EST/EDT | 20:30 CEST FREE

Join us in the Tap Cafe – an online open space to come and talk all things tap dance! 

You might have a question, a conversation topic, some news to share, or simply enjoy the opportunity to connect with other tap dancers from around the world. 

We look forward to seeing you there.

Book your free ticket

Network Session September 2021: Tap Sounds Series – Building Tap Floors

Network Session September 2021: Tap Sounds Series – Building Tap Floors

Took place online on Thursday 16 Sept

A fantastic session with some great information shared! 

  • Lee Payne from TDRN UK shared his experiences of dancing on different types of pre-made floors and building his own portable performance floors.
  • Susan Filipiak spoke about building a triple sprung studio floor based on the tech specs for the legendary floor at Woodpeckers Studio in New York which was built by Brenda Buffalino and the home of the American Tap Dance Orchestra.
  • Victor Perkins joined to tell us about his recently patented Jaia Board which he created with his daughter and is now retailing.

See below for more information and links…

From Lee Payne:

Some companies that provide portable floors of different sizes

https://uk.harlequinfloors.com/en/sectors/dance/tap-dance-floors

https://emea.rosco.com/en/product/rosco-subfloor

http://www.theballetbarrecompany.com/sprung_flooring.

https://uk.harlequinfloors.com/en/shop/home-practice/dance-boards/tap-turn-board-tap-dancing-board-harlequin-floors?utm_source=Google_PPC&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=&utm_campaign=14295173187&gclid=Cj0KCQjws4aKBhDPARIsAIWH0JVuhD4qJJo2ZFDrLDWzqqavkeh-BGb3EQb_abS3WH_q6uaMTsTlI7UaAsCjEALw_wcB

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/697168457/dance-board-48-x-24-personalised?gpla=1&gao=1&

https://www.danceandstage.co.uk/smart-flex—sprung-flooring-for-dance-gyms-fitness-studio-floors

From Susan Filipiak:

“I was inspired by the wonderful floor (= instrument) that Brenda Bufalino had in her NYC Woodpeckers studio from 1989-1995.  What a wonderful sound, full bass notes, high treble and everything in between.  I built my studio in 1995 and have shared the plans with so many dancers (among them, Heather Cornell). Here are some photos and text to explain how I built a “triple-sprung, basketweave” floor.

Here is the original building specs for Brenda and the American Tap Dance Orchestra from 1989

Here’s my notes to Heather Cornell, describing how I built the floor

Here’s photos of my studio floor being built in 1995

 

Some useful links – 

Tung oil – https://www.realmilkpaint.com/shop/oils/pure-tung-chinawood/

“Here are photos of a portable dance floor ‘Step-a-Tune’ made by Angelo Graziano, cabinet maker husband of clogger, Sheila Graziano and his description of his production:  ‘The step-a-tunes are constructed of premium 2×4’s. they are jointed and thickness planned. A rabbet joint is cut (with tadoo blade) on one edge to a 3/4″ depth to accept a 3/4″ thick piece of birch cabinet grade ply. The corners are a 45 degree angle cut with splices added for structural and art form. Sanded 80 grit with boiled linseed oil finish. pricing is based on cost of materials plus labor. Elderly music store does sell them and ships them’”

Step-a-Tune boards used by clog dancers – https://www.elderly.com/products/step-a-tune-portable-dance-floor

 

From Victor Perkins

Jaiaboards

“JAIABOARDS are eletronic tap boards that picks up vibrations and connections to an amplifier with out the use of microphones. 

Microphones by nature suppress vibrations and picks up all sounds that travel through the air. As a result when tap dancers put microphones next to their boards they are not only picking up the sound of the taps but the sounds of the band in the background.

Using JAIABOARDS technology vibration sensors are used to to pick up the original tap sound caused by vibrations on the tap board without picking up any other sounds. This will allow the tap dancer to be heard over the band and plug into the sound system just like all the other instruments” (https://www.gofundme.com/f/jaiaboards-electronic-step-and-tap-board-patent)

Instagram link https://www.instagram.com/jaiaboards/?hl=en