Forum: General / Tap / Tap - Competitions

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re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By paddleandroll
On Tue Jun 14, 2005 04:06 AM
UGH** my biggest pet peeve. There was obviously too much competition in the Elite Solo Jazz category, the teacher thought it would be better to slap some tap shoes on her jazz dancer and enter it in Solo Tap. well that's a load of crap. Because, unless there was a qualified tap judge, you know the jazz/tapper won.

it's such a cop-out to put fouettes and aerials in tap dances. well, second thought, i feel the same about jazz dances. "I couldn't think of anything else to do at this music break, so i guess we'll do a turn section." let's add a little creativity to our dancers and our choreography. break away from the formulations. we all know you can do 83 fouettes and a la seconds in a fantastically mesmerizing turn section. but really? who cares. the dance that went on before you.. they did 84.

go joe!
By Jennapooh
On Thu Jun 30, 2005 02:27 PM
i don't know i like turns but not realy the leaps and stuff, ive seen some aamzing tap solos with turns before!! i think its should be stirctly tap like 95%
i totally agree with double bass (karma: 1)
By tapfrogs
On Fri Jul 01, 2005 08:18 AM
Hi Double Bass,

I am in COMPLETE agreement -- and I wish there was a way to change it. My students are new to the competition circuit, and their strong suits are tap and jazz. I am tap dancer, and perform with a professional company, and so I stay true to the essence of tap in my student's choroegraphy (whether the song calls for a rhythm tap feel or a "broadway" tap feel). I do NOT put turns or leaps or jazz tricks into their choreography -- they are there to be judged for their sense of rhythm, timing, accuracy of sound etc, and not for jazz steps in a tap routine. I hardly agree with adding too many tap tricks either.....

I wish there was a way to make competitions more fair for the students who are trying to improve their tap skills, and who have worked hard to be precise with their rhythms. At a competition last summer, one of my 13 year old students did a solo to an upbeat ragtime song, and she hit every sound and syncopation in the choreography. She received a silver, and the solos who received higher awards certainly had turns, leaps, and splits in their choreography. My student needed to improve her performance quality, so she was okay with her award. But when we listened to the judges tapes, and she sincerely wanted feedback that could help her, she was even more disappointed. The tap teachers at the convention were not asked to judge, and there were three jazz-based teachers as judges. They did not understand the syncopations in the choreography, and the most "helpful" comment that they had was "watch your strikes"-- what?? Luckily my student has a good sense of humor, and jokes about her "bowling tap dance"

Anyway, I think there are ways to get higher scores, and thus give your students a feeling of accomplishment, while still sticking to tap choreography. I added the use of a hat to her routine, and it scored better at the next competition -- the judges who didn't know much about tap commented on the good use of her hat. (also improved her performance).

If any tap teachers out there are looking for a good convention/competition that has quality tap teachers and tap knowledge, check out Jump! It is run by Gil Stroming, a former Tap Dog, and Mike Minery is a great tap teacher and judge -- he provided lots of helpful insight to my students.

re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By tapfrogs
On Fri Jul 01, 2005 08:22 AM
Right on. I think that all tap dancers should unite and write to these competitions! It's about time that our students who do know what riffles, ripples, etc, get judged appropriately!
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By tapfrogs
On Fri Jul 01, 2005 08:27 AM
I agree that these classic master tap dancers had great elements in their dancing besides tap -- but the main difference is that when the Nicholas Brothers did a flip into the splits and came up, or when Gene Kelly did barrel turns, or when Ann Miller was turning and turning -- it was all in perfect rhythm and serving the previous rhythms set up by the dance and the music.

I think that what I, and others, are frustrated with, are the dances who win with turns and leaps that ARE NOT rhythmic and ARE NOT supported by actual tap steps that have good technique.

If someone can pull off both, more power to them!

re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By kato0109
On Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:27 PM
I had a new tap teacher this year and I found it very frusterating at first that she was changing our tap routines into alomst jazz routines....partly becuase i was scared i would land on my butt if i did jumps in my tap shoes....but as the year went on I found that we were doing better in competitions becuase of it and while i dont agree with having to do double fan kicks in tap shoes and i dont think that you should have to that is the way judges are marking now and so my instructor says that i just have to accept it
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By Isitrainingyet
On Sat Aug 06, 2005 08:58 PM
THIS is probably one of the most frustrating things as a choreographer. I am a fan of alot of the older styles of tap, ann miller and ellenor powell which those that remember had some amazing tap turns which are awesome. Which I believe if it is a tap turn then cool, but I do not agree with Jumps in the middle of a tap number unless there is a wing or pull in it. I have found that my numbers with more turns and tricks do better with judges that are either musical theater or hip hop or jazz. IT IS REALLY SAD WHEN WE DON"T HAVE A TAP JUDGE!!!! Now when I go to competitions with tap judges usually everything that wins is usually pretty true to a solid tap number.

Going back to turns I recently choreographed a piece that was ofcourse rhythme oriented but more tap turns and stuff. I got stuck with many remarks from judges about watching my girls HANDS.... which goes to show if they have never tapped the are going to look for what they know.

I really hope that more competitions will make sure to have a Tap Judge just so it is fair to the students and isn't so complicated in wondering what they are going to be looking for next year, wheather it be hands, jazz, turns, jumps. It should be about rhythem and sound and ofcourse the choreography and respecting the many tap styles......
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By Truffle
On Mon Aug 08, 2005 02:19 PM
I don't know why they do that because
1) I would think that it would be hard to do leaps and turns and stuff in tap shoes.
2) Its a tap routine. Not jazz.

"A" :D
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By di_1227
On Wed Sep 21, 2005 12:46 AM
yes, i agree. It is frustrating and it isn't recognized by the judges always. how many judges are true 'tappers'? i want to see real tap technique throughout the whole song. Let us see what the tapper really can do.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By sheshamom
On Sat Sep 24, 2005 10:44 AM daughter has been learning her new tap solo for the past month and I'm hearing about a lot of leg lifts, outside turns (usual for this teacher), fan kicks etc. I've been reading on this board about how tap routines are getting more jazz because of lack of technical ability. Yet my daughter (and not trying to be biased here)HAS the ablility and is pretty advanced in tap for her age group (she'll be in the 9-11 age group). She's competed before with a solo and has won the high over-alls before without all this extra "jazz" stuff so I don't see where it's coming from. Could it be because the teacher has noticed that judges go for all that stuff and it's the "thing" right now????? Since she has the technique, putting in the jazz stuff will go further???? I don't get it.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By dancinbabe847
On Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:08 AM
I completely agree I hate it when people do like 10 different turns and all this jazz stuff in tap. Its like if you can't do enough tap to fill up a routine then do a jazz dance. This especially drives me crazy when it is a duo/trio or solo. Do a jazz solo if you want to do turns.

At nationals this year almost all of the tap dances had a lot of jazzy things in them and we didn't score as well b/c that is what the judges liked, since most judges don't know that much about tap anyway. I felt that it was really unfair b/c we worked hard on "tap" and didn't do as well.

There was also in my solo category this girl who did a hip hop routine with the smallest amount of tap you could imagine and she beat me and my friend and got a platnium and 1st in the category and she did as good of tap as our 8 year olds.

So to make it short, not that it is, but i definately agree that i hate jazz in tap dances. Don't get my wrong I LOVE jazz but in jazz dances.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By DanceChick91812member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Oct 15, 2005 11:47 AM
I agree with all of this. Our studio does fouettes in our tap dances, but instead of going back to posse, we do a riff or a shuffle with our working leg, so that we aren't just doing "tricks" because everyone knows that turning is much easier in tap shoes. My teacher makes sure to put the right amount of tap and maybe one or two "tricks" such as a leap, turn, etc.
tap competitions
By durangotap
On Thu Oct 27, 2005 01:16 PM
We have had the same problem with lack of tap judges. Can anyone suggest competitions where judges are likely to have tap experience?
Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By TapDancer0817
On Sat Nov 05, 2005 05:51 PM
That really bothers me. My old studio used to do that and I HATE IT! A pirouette is ok. But a leap that is a little werid and annoying. I think judges should have a limit on jazz turns/leaps in a tap routine.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By satapper
On Wed Nov 23, 2005 07:47 AM
Hi guys, i agree with all of you about turns and leaps. The fact is they win competitions whether we like it or not. I was placed 4th at world champs in 2003 we had 5 judges all tappers and the winner had almost half the dance turns but not tapping turns like standing on the spot and turning
oh well cant win em all
What to do...
By DoubleBass
On Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:18 AM
I've read a lotta complaints here about how competitions aren't providing knowledgeable judges in the area of tap. But the funny part is... studios (owners) don't do anything about it! They shrug their shoulders and go back the next year. If I was a competition/convention, I wouldn't do anything about the complaints, either. I mean, sure people complain, but I'm still getting their money next year... why bother?!

Let me put it to you a better way. HOCKEY!!! (sweet!)

People whined and complained about how mad and unhappy they were over the price of hockey tickets. Yet, they kept going to the games! Thus, owners never lowered their ticket prices. The best way to hit "the man" hard... is in his WALLET!!! Moral of the story is...

If you're really having that much of a problem, you can do one of two things.

1. Put together a formal complaint and let the company know your studio will NOT be attending next year AND WHY. (In hopes that enough people will follow suit and the convention/competitions makes a change)

2. Shut up and keep letting the same circle repeat year after year, while you and your parents waste your money on competitions/conventions that care more about TAKING your money than TEACHING your children. (it's called showBUSINESS kids!)

It's put up or shut up. If more people followed this idea instead of laying down and playing helpless/dead... things would get done. They can't run a convention if they don't have clientelle. Give them a reason to CHANGE!

I must know what I'm talking about if I'm willing to "out" my own source of income for the greater good.

But that's just my opinion.

- Mike :)
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By luvNdancermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:28 PM
i would much rather see a "Tap" routine or a "Jazz' routine. not a "Tazz" routine...
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By RileyA
On Sat Jan 14, 2006 11:55 PM
What I am starting to see a lot more of in competition routines is acrobatics moves. But performing aerial cartwheels and back flips in tap shoes is downright dangerous.

Tap shoes are of course slippery on their own as they have metal plates on the bottom of them. But when you go to a dance competition the floor your work on will be different to your studio floor and can be very very slippery. Also performing flipping moves in a group routine with big heavy taps on the bottom of your feet can be a danger to other dancers.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By sheshamom
On Tue Jan 17, 2006 01:40 PM
OMG!!!!! My daughter's tap solo is following this trend of "tricks" in it. It's like tap and a few jazz tricks. Things you'd NOT see in a only tap routine. She's a pretty technical tapper for her age (11)and has very clear sound. It may be unusual (the things she's doing) but it seems to flow nicely and there's a lot of difficult tap steps. Or at least I'd think they'd be difficult or things that my daughter has master now.

I have no clue as to how her competiting season is going to go.
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By TapStar08
On Thu Jan 26, 2006 01:47 PM
personally, putting too much jazz into tap routines does bother me to some extent but i cannot complain because this year i have a tap solo to 'le jazz hot' and there is alot of character/ jazz in it. i might regret it later though...
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By Chevy14
On Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:02 PM
hmmm does it bother me...yes and no. Yes because i love tapping and i love workign on my sounds and makign things better the studio. I think without anykind of presentable 'trick' a dance lacks something and it just gets boaring to need things that can catch the eye of a non-dancer..thats what i thinka bout dances with too much jazz. We never do anything realetd to jazz in our tap classes ever but our large group tap has a brushnacoff in it and an attuide kick and just really pretty stuff not too much but I think things like that are need to keep the eyess of audience.

For those people who are just doing dances to get input and improve...thats what tap exams are for... The stage is ment for presence....and skill of course but you cannot have skill without presence and still expect to win.

re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By imadanseurPremium member
On Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:15 PM
I know plenty of tap dancers that held non-dancers attention with just their tap style. Nicholas Brothers, Gene Kelly, Sam Weber?!? Get rid of the switch leaps in a tap number...please!
re: Putting too much jazz in tap routines..
By tdidancermember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Mar 26, 2006 02:32 PM
I think that as long as the routine is mostly traditional tap technique, it's fine to have a few turns and leaps in the mix. My tap dance has a double pirouette in it, but other than that its all tap. If it gets to the point where it is mostly jazz with some tap, then I think it should be put in the open category rather than tap.
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