As I removed my tap shoes and sat down to write this article, I thought, “What is the most important thing I’d like my readers to get from this article?” Well, obviously, I would wish for you all to fall in love with tap dance. I know, I know, that’s quite a lofty goal, but maybe if you’d get a standing ovation with a tap piece, you’ll embrace tap with a healthy respect. It is a truly American genre (now danced worldwide), and it’s a joy and a challenge to create music while you dance. To quote an old phrase: “It’s a treat to beat your feet!” It is my personal hope that rather than recycling the tap of the past, we can keep what is valuable from bygone eras and endeavor to take tap forward in an effective, energetic and entertaining way.
One of your first considerations is to assess the purpose and demographics of the performance for which the piece will be performed. Is it a concert, or a recital, or a commercial setting (such as a showroom or a theme park), or a competition? And what kind of audience would you have: 60 people, or 600, or 2,000? And what is the age span? In addition, is the piece a solo, a small group or a larger production? All of these considerations will guide you in making one of your most important decisions – your choice of music.
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