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Tap - Advanced
Warning about tap videos!!! (karma: 11)
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16604, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Sat Oct 08, 2005 01:35 AM
Bumped by imadanseur (79325) on 2007-05-19 15:04:07
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Bumped by imadanseur (79325) on 2008-07-26 19:10:26

I have an extensive library of tap videos, DVD's, and other teacher instructional notes etc. I figured I would HATE for anyone to waste money on a few items I have recently seen, and would like to recommend a few tapes that are worthwhile and what to avoid in my own personal opinion.

I like well produced videos, but I can honestly overlook the quality if the material is good. These are JUST my opinions, I would love to hear other people's thoughts or if anyone would like to add to the list that would be great!

Keith Clifton put out a DVD called Full Metal Tap. I like most of the footwork and rhythms. I would use this for my intermediate and lower end advanced classes. There are warmups, variations, and 2 full routines that are pretty good. For the price of the DVD I say it is well worth the money. On a side note: I would not recommend the video he put out called All That Dance with a ballet, jazz, and lyrical number on it. I personally didn't find anything that I would use. Maybe it is the style of dance that I teach, but that was a waste of my money.

Rusty Frank has recently released "Tapping With The Master's Series". She has released 2 Shim Sham (Leonard Reed) DVD's and 2 B.S. Chorus (Eddie Brown). If you decide to invest in these classics get the 10-Year Anniversary Special Edition for the Shim Sham. It has more history, scenes, information etc. If you buy the B.S. Chorus get the one that features Sam Weber. Again, it is much more in depth and the elements are broken into more sections. Here is where you can find it: swingshiftontap.com . . .

I personally like Mike Minnery's tapes from Bob Rizzo. I know some people don't like him or his style or the fact that he made up the name "Shiggy Bop" to a step he didn't create, but I liked his first DVD best, but have used bits and pieces from all his videos. I use most of the stuff for my advanced classes. His combos aren't really hard, they are just usually fast, but all the rhythms make sense to me and is similar to how I teach. Faster is not better though, so I can't say these videos really would help all teachers. They have helped some of my student teachers more than anything.

Thommie Retter had a video called Tap Generation. I loved this video and used everything off of it. I could be biased because I took tap from Thommie in college and think he is great. Maybe it is just because I tap a lot like him and his style is easy for me. The video is for the intermediate early advanced dancer. It consists of various combinations you can use for warm ups or to infuse with your own choreography...no routines. That is partly why I like this DVD because it's the daily lesson plans I need help with. He has put out a second video called Tap Generation Vol. 2. It is really good, though I tend to use more from the first video still. Thommie has a great sense of rhythm, style, and overall funk. The first CD is just drum music. I personally wouldn't waste the $25.00 on it since you could use TONS of other kinds of music for these combinations, but the CD isn't bad. You can find his stuff here: www.musicworksunlimited.com . . .

Okay for the bad and the ugly.

Chance Taylor was selling a video at the LA tap festival. Worst piece of produced garbage I've ever seen. Remember when I said I could overlook bad producing and editing? Okay, I can't overlook this. First it only shot his feet from the front. At the beginning of the DVD and it has a display at the top that shows how much battery was left when recording, time etc. I loved the bug that is crawling on the floor and you can't help but watch the taps almost squish it. I fast forwarded through most of it, but I loved seeing him in a bedroom with a basketball poster behind him and the camera on a tripod through a doorway while he is tapping and you can't hear a dang word. My friend bought this for $30.00. I liked some of the rhythms, but not enough to ever sit through this!

Greg Russel produced a few videos for Bob Rizzo. He is the most annoying individual in my opinion. The delivery looks like he should be talking to 5 year olds who are watching Sesame Street. I can't say the video is bad because I honestly couldn't get through it.

Mike Minnery and Gil Stroming from JUMP put together a video called 101 Tap Steps You've Never Seen Before. First of all, you probably have seen many of them, or variations of them. When they sold this video to people like me at their convention I purchased it thinking I would get the DVD in a timely fashion and get 101 tap steps. Instead I get the DVD one year after I order it (apparently it wasn't even made at the time of sale), and it comes with 50 tap steps because this is just Vol. 1. You have to spend another $50.00 for Vol. 2. They send you a DVD and that is ALL. No packaging or anything, just in a little plastic jewel case. No insert to tell you what the chapters or tracks are...you are on your own. I liked some of the steps and there are things to really challenge your advanced dancers. I detest the fact that they made cute little gimmicky names for about 45 of the steps such as Chicken Wing, Buffalo Wing, Chopped Lettuce, and the Flying Dave. Can't you just show us some steps instead of trying to make less than average tap dancers think you made all this crap up??

4 Replies to Warning about tap videos!!!

re: Warning about tap videos!!!
By tappingangel Comments: 908, member since Sun Apr 27, 2003
On Sat Oct 08, 2005 05:18 PM
wow, awesome post....though i cant really add anything to your list here yet, ( i dont have any dvds worth even putting on here...dont have the time to watch them, so i usually dont even look for them) now i know what to stay away from when buying them...and what to look for!!!! great post, thanks!!!!!!! happy tapping!!!!!!! love, angel
re: Warning about tap videos!!!
By crunchyPremium member Comments: 4810, member since Wed Nov 05, 2003
On Mon Nov 14, 2005 01:40 AM
Thank you for taking the time to write all that out. :)
re: Warning about tap videos!!!
By Ms_Mel Comments: 244, member since Sun Jan 20, 2008
On Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:18 PM
I made it through the entire Total Tap with Gregg Russell DVD, and I have to tell you... the man is something between The Wiggles and Ace Ventura. My 3 year old LOVES to watch "The Tappy Guy", which is what she calls him. There were some interesting riff combinations, and he taught the mechanics to jumping down into a split and coming back up without using hands.

But I'd have to agree, he is not very entertaining for adults to watch and listen to. Within the first 5 minutes, I had already heard enough of "Allllllrighty, without further ado..." and "Oooooo KKKKKKK".
re: Warning about tap videos!!!
By adageacemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3982, member since Thu Sep 01, 2005
On Tue Jan 29, 2008 01:18 PM
/slight hijack
That reminds me of a pilates dvd a friend had. She had plans to use it regularly, and I just joined in for fun one day. I couldn't even stand ONE session of "Now feel a corset of strength around your midsection. Keep your back straight, as though there's a corset of strength around your midsection. Keep lifted, as though there's a corset of strength around your midsection" - every irritating catchphrase and analogy was repeated about 20 times within each set of repetitions. I had to beg her to turn the sound off. As it turns out, she never got around to using it regularly, because the woman on the dvd irritated her so much.
/hijack

Thanks for this post, though, and for taking so much time to write it out. It really is such a waste to buy vids and then find you can't stand to use them due to annoyingness - or worse, that they're just plain bad. But when I get around to it, I'll look out for some of the better ones you mentioned.

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