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Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By katie91021
On Sun Apr 10, 2005 02:31 PM

I don't know about anyone else but I find it quite annoying when people compete tap solos however they put a lot of turns and leaps into their routine. Anyone else agree?

47 Replies to Putting too much jazz in tap routines..

re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By glitterfairyPremium member
On Sun Apr 10, 2005 05:37 PM
Been there, seen that... lol

I don't mind turns and leaps, however when a "tap routine" really just looks like a jazz dance in tap shoes, then I start wondering...
too much jazz in tap routines
By DanceFever24_7
On Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:37 AM
I don't mind turns along as they fit in the song well, and as long as the dancer can pull them off. I think sometimes it becomes too much. I do not care for leaps or leg spins in tap routines i think it doesn't work and doesn't look good either. I think the turns are ok as long as you tap more than turn.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By hippyjazzdancer
On Fri Apr 15, 2005 04:43 PM
I think they are alright. It's looks really nice to add some turns and leaps into a tap routine. However, it IS tap and not jazz so the focus should be more on the tapping! :)
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By glitterfairyPremium member
On Sat Apr 16, 2005 08:41 AM
Leaps and turns are fine - I do them myself, although not that many leaps.

However, I'm fully against the jazz dance in tap shoes variety of "tap solo", which I've seen before...
The reason this happens... (karma: 3)
By DoubleBass
On Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:59 AM
Hey tappers! As a working judge and convention teacher... I can tell you EXACTLY why this happens in competition routines.

Too many judges out there have NO CLUE about tap. They see a routine and their faces go blank. They don't understand what they're being asked to judge, so they comment on what they know... JAZZ.

When I was growing up, I would compete with tap routines all the time. I did it more for the audience response to my routine than for the judges score (Cuz I knew most judges knew nothing about real tap!). The comments I would get were...

"Try turning more." "How about a leap or two?" "I see that you have the tap down, now show me more."

All of which are a load of crap! They judged ME based on the fact that THEY didn't know what they were looking at!!

I'm a judge now and I hear all the time from other judges... "Was that tap routine good? I couldn't tell." or "I thought that tap routine was okay, but I wasn't sure, so I scored it in the middle" etc. etc."

Well, studio teachers got wise to the fact that most judges don't know how to judge/score tap and since they're SO desperate to win (because as we all know, winning dance competitions gives validation to our childrens' lives and thus brings in more money to the studio), they just started turning tap routines into jazz routines. Funny thing is... it totally works! No matter how much I comment on it and down-score it while I'm judging, I know that there's 3 to 4 other judges down the line from me who just don't get it and will cancel out my score.

Welcome to the world of competition kids. Enjoy. *ugh*
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By imadanseurPremium member
On Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:38 AM
^Isn't that the truth??? I have been cancelled out many times too (being the only true tapper on the judging panel!)

I always warn my tappers that they need to go out and do their best and they may need to ignore the score they get because it's not accurate. Sometimes they get scored too high because people think the dance is harder than it is...sometimes it doesn't have the jazz elements and fouettes that other tap routines have. (YUCK)

Here is my favorite judging comment to one of my groups. The were doing a heel stand on their left foot and a wing with their right foot 2 times. The judge on the tape says, "Ladies, don't scrape your shuffles!" It's still a joke in my advanced class. Luckily we can all laugh it off.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By Dream_chaserPremium member
On Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:28 PM
Here and there if it fits the song but when it is a lot, it is not pure tap. Now in show biz you could have a mix, and that is fine, but if you are competing it should be mostly tap, at least in my opinion.

I judge competitions and will make mention of that in my comments.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By funtodance7
On Tue Apr 26, 2005 11:08 PM
A tap routine should be mostly tap without the aid of poles, hand clappers, or anything else that makes noise. Those routines should be in an open category. I think whenever a tap routine has too much jazz in it, the judges should mention that on their score sheets, however as in previous posts, some judges may not know how to score tap.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By kabdancer
On Wed Apr 27, 2005 08:27 AM
I recently judged a competition with another lady who was not a tapper and fairly enough whenever there was a tap section in the day or tap solo/duo/etc... she took a break and I was the only judge for those sections. I did see many 'jazz' tap dances but one in particular was just that a jazz dance in tap shoes, the only tap content they had was step heels. My comments were generally, 'nice performance but I cannot judge this is a tap dance because there was no tap to judge' and I think I gave them a LOW score, which is sad because it's not the kids fault, it's the teacher / choreographer who should know better. Overall that day I think I said a million times 'more tap content needed'.

One last thing, I can appreciate turns and jumps in a tap routine a la Nicholas Brothers, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire style, but not the way it is presented today with switch splits or full battements and fouette turns etc...not the same thing ...not the same thing at all.

re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By Dozy_Jessmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Apr 27, 2005 08:37 AM
Yes I totally agree! A lot of the time things like high kicks and split leaps will make people who are oblivious to tap go "wow" and if these people happen to be judges then the performer will get a good mark, however, I love tap and am always very impressed by a good, well executed complicated tap routine, this makes me sit up and say wow more than high kicks and forward roll overs (dont laugh, Ive seen it in a tap dance before now!) in a tap dance do!
Jess xx
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By chacha0349
On Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:57 PM
yes, when tapping tap. Too many turns and moves that don't involve tap take away from the routine. Routines can be constructed with walks and pops that will accomplish the same moves and occasional rest time as doing non tap moves.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By Stinkyfeet
On Sat Apr 30, 2005 04:14 PM
gosh! I love tap, and I hate sitting down to watch a "tap" routine and it has more jazz than tap! I bugs the flip out of me, and I don't even know what the flip is- but it bugs it out of me!
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By gen_dancer
On Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:59 PM
Wow! That's crazy! That means that I've been pretty lucky with the my judges so far then because my tap solo is almost all tap, the only jazz in it is one double soutenu turn and and double pirouette and I've managed to come out with scores of 92.8 and 94.6 which isn't bad at all according to me. Although I must add that some judges were commenting on the tap and others were mainly focusing on my sense of rythm and my performance.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By tappinlassy
On Mon May 02, 2005 05:54 PM
Edited by tappinlassy (124531) on 2005-05-02 18:02:58
Edited by tappinlassy (124531) on 2005-05-02 18:05:13
Enjoyed your post about judges' lack of tap knowledge and totally agree! What a shame - I see kids with wonderful technique and the judges say "Watch those shuffles!". My sister was doing a very advanced rhythm tap number with extremely difficult steps. She has $280 custom tap shoes weighted and balanced for rhythm tap. One of the judge's only comment was "I think you're ready to dance in high heels." I couldn't believe it!

The thing that drives me crazy is that a lot of studios just concentrate on being LOUD. They stomp their hearts out without really DOING anything. (Oh, and waving their arms wildly generally helps.) It looks like they're working hard although they aren't showing any real technique or degree of difficulty. The judges must think "wow, that sounds loud - it must be hard!" and they get a top-score. We write to every competition that they really have to find judges who understand tap, but they think that 2 years with the Rockettes qualifies. They have no clue what a riff, third, ripple, or anything else is beyond a shuffle.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By rincedragonflymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu May 05, 2005 01:30 PM
Ugh I see this all the time in my state. There is a studio that all of their tap dances are jazz dances with extra noise. I have done tap solos for 6 years, and I was pretty good. One competition, I was beat by a girl who did leaps, foutees, and a heel stretch in her solo. Her actual tapping wasn't that great either. So irritating. I am okay with pirouettes. In fact, our dancers do them all the time! But foutees are where I draw the line. And leaps just don't work in tap shoes! If they are going for a real classic style of tap like Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire, that's fine. Unfortunately, it always seems to be in rhythm tap routines. I always just shake my head in disgrace when I see those dances...
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By Tee4two
On Thu May 05, 2005 08:52 PM
The reason why I love tap so much is because it can be so versatile. The Nicholas brothers involved acrobatic tricks in their routines at the start of tap craze and set a standard of the non traditional tap that was around in their day. Astair involved cleaner lines as Kelly remained a looser vaudeville-esk style to his tap. Ann miller was famous for her fast furious feet and her amazing spins. And Hines had the old school hoofer/ broadway feel to his tap. So basically, tap is evolving into a craft that has no boundaries, why not throw a trick in or a spin, as long as you have taps on your shoes and can produce a unique rhythm, you are tapping. I love comming up with new ideas and watching people really explore creatively in new methods of tap, and I also love the "old timer" soft shoe, so really, people should keep an open mind. Especially in dance.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By localmotioner
On Thu May 05, 2005 11:31 PM
Removed by glitterfairy (42646) on 2005-05-13 02:50:59 All caps is considered shouting. Please don't do it!
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By broadwaybaby246
On Thu May 12, 2005 05:03 PM
i cant stand it when i watch a recital and the dancer are bassically just stomping around and doing jazz steps that i would never think of putting in a tap routine. it makes me feel sorry for the parents who are paying for this child to learn tap but the child will never know that she really doesent until she sees someone else..

and im not sure if any of you have noticed this but some competitions dont even judge you on talent, but on how many dancers your school brings in (aka how much money) a school of 60 dancers would lose to a school of 160.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By e_hefley
On Fri May 13, 2005 12:59 AM
I agree with you Double a judge and professional dancer...i have seen many of the same things in the tap category. I often wish we could see a tap piece without all the "tricks" and "props"...those should be in an open category. We as judges must continue to make this known to teachers and parents. Tap dancing is about exploring the rhythms and sounds of the feet. It is about making music...not how many leaps and turns you can do!
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By glitterfairyPremium member
On Fri May 13, 2005 02:56 AM
We must be lucky in Australia - we tend to always have actual tappers adjudicate (and when we don't, the fairly close-knit tap community withdraws from that competition ;) ).

That being said, the competition is small enough to only warrant having one judge - I can only shudder to think of how difficult it is to get an entire bunch of tap-savvy judges.

I've really only seen one jazz dance in tap shoes in my entire life - we rarely see - what's this, fouettes?!?! The leaps and spins I have seen usually are there merely to complement the tap routine, which is lovely.

Darn, I bet we all wish it was easy to entirely re-construct the competitive tap scene hey?
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By sarah81member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun May 15, 2005 06:35 PM
We were just talking about this today at our dance compeition. I agree, tap should be mostly tapping...a couple turns is ok but too many ruins it. I also think jumps look really bad in tap shoes (well in ours because they're not split sole) because you can't fully point your feet and its hard to get a good jump because your shoes are sliipery and its harder to get a good preperation. It's not fair that an amazing tapper could come second to a girl that can barely tap but can do really great jazz. Keep your feet on the floor and making sounds...thats what tap is for!
Jazz in Tap
By b_lyrical24
On Wed Jun 08, 2005 10:00 PM
I think that it adds to the dance when they do turns. Maybe they could do a tap step out of it, but the leaps i am not too fond of. I do agree that if you watch the dance and it looks like a jazz dance, that's a BIG problem.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By pinkballerina007
On Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:33 AM
i have a tap solo and every competition, the judges commment how the choreography had just enough turns and leaps (i do to of each- not alot) and how it fits the mucsic great. the last competition, one judge who has never tapped, said i had too much jazz. i didnt really pay attention to her score sheet because she worte some really weird comments on every dances sheets. she told me she loves my costume... but she wishes it was pants. she also said my sounds were muffled, but very clear and concise. i think this judge had no idea what she was saying. not all judges know how much "jazz" should be in tap. some are just plain stupid.

*pink ballerina*
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By everdancingmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:16 AM
I think the odd pirouette or leap is ok... but yes, when it gets to be that it's just a jazz routine in a different pair of shoes, that's annoying. Especially if they score really high from judges :?

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