Though I have only been teaching tap classes for 7 years, I can already identify several traits that are common to many of the most successful students of tap dancing. In fact, I believe that these habits extend to other dance forms as well. Let me know if you agree.
In this ten-post series I will be sharing these habits with you in hopes that they will help you to become a better student of tap.
At the very least, reading about these habits may help you to identify an area that you can improve upon.
These ideas are mainly targeted at a younger audience, while also applying to students of all ages. So without further delay, I present the first of the ten habits of highly effective (tap) dancers!
When I speak of preparation I am referring to more than just having the appropriate attire and shoes for class (though it is a shame how often students “forget” to bring tap shoes to tap class). But I am also referring to students coming to class with the appropriate attitude.
The hardest part of maintaining the appropriate attitude is doing so when we just don’t feel up to it!
Unfortunately, being tired, sick, or irritated is no excuse for disrespecting the instructor by not being attentive in class. If you’re in class, you must be IN CLASS. Otherwise, stay home and rest.
What does this have to do with being highly effective?
Well as a dancer, you will often have to dig down deep within yourself to find the motivation to perform at your highest level. Your ability to push through whatever is going on and focus on the task at hand will be just as important as how well you execute the choreography.
By maintaining the appropriate attitude in class, even when you would much rather be elsewhere, you are preparing yourself for those times down the road when everything might be on the line, and going home is not an option!
The world of sports gives us two great examples of athletes who faced this challenge at crucial moments in their careers. Watch these videos and think about what they faced the next time you’re tempted to “phone it in” in class.
Kerri Strug – 1996 Olympic Gymnastics
Michael Jordan – 1997 NBA Finals vs. The Utah Jazz (The FLU game)
If you have something to add please feel free to do so in the comments section below.