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make your day dance

Tap Dance in the public schools

March 7th, 2010 · No Comments · Tags: ····

… is hard to do.  No tap dance shoes.  Even if I did have shoes for the kids, no way am I going to let the floor get scuffed up.

Nonetheless, we just finished some tap dancing, and it was successful, thanks to the instructional DVD Rhythm Kidz — Tap Dance in Tennis Shoes with Steve Zee.  This DVD works in all the ways it needs to for public school use:

  • there’s a mix of kids,
  • the steps are manageable,
  • the instruction is clear and quick with repetition,
  • the video shows kids dancing, both in tap shoes and tennis shoes,
  • the costuming is appropriate and non-dorky,
  • each chapter shows a combination, all of which build to a dance.

All of these factors are necessary in order for a DVD to go up in front of my kids, but easily the best point was that they all felt fine about practicing the steps in tennis shoes, since the DVD shows it as an option.  I started every day by leading a warm-up and some tap basics, but the DVD was a great way to let my kids watch someone besides me dance for a change — without the wear-and-tear on my own knees of 4 classes daily!

There are other tap dance DVDs that I’ve looked at, but can’t use in the school setting.  Just a note for anyone who’s thinking of making a DVD for the public school setting, here are some critical issues:

  • don’t dress the boys & girls alike… dance has enough of a gender-specific reputation in the general public without making it hard to tell the boys from the girls, or dressing the boys to look like girls;
  • be sure the adults in the video are dressed for the most conservative viewers… skip the leotards with the high-cut legs & the low-cut necklines if your audience is kids, cause your DVD will be a no-show in certain demographics;
  • gather a really diverse bunch of kids for your DVD — age, gender, and race — so your DVD can be used in all settings and with all kinds of kids!

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