Forum: General / Tap / Tap

Adjustments to my shuffle
By Afgncaap
On Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:47 AM

I'm a new tapper. I've been at it for about 10 months now, and I'm not all that good, but I'm having an absolute blast with it. One of the issues I've been running into is that I can't do multiple shuffles quickly. I have learned everything basically by watching my instructor, who is not particularly chatty about specific technique. I can do the brush spank step no problem, but when I watch her do multiple shuffles, she's not really drawing her foot back much at all for the spank. It looks almost as if she's just tapping her toes, but I'm pretty sure that's not it. I'm realizing that I'm running into a minor (so far) technical wall here. Here's my question. What am I supposed to be doing with my ankle and toe? How tense/relaxed? I'm guessing not wet noodle, but it's at the point where I think I'll benefit from advice on specific muscle group activations, if that makes any sense.

Thank you for the consideration.

3 Replies to Adjustments to my shuffle

re: Adjustments to my shuffle
By tappingitout
On Fri Jul 20, 2012 02:47 AM
your ankle should actually be almost wet noodle, which I know seems kind of counterintuitive. you've got to keep your ankles loose and the shuffle is actually activated from the hip and knee. You lift the knee and drop the foot to allow it to reverb on the floor. In Stan Kahn technique the shuffle will actually do just that and not really go forward and back at all but will go forward and bounce if that makes sense. More commonly you will lift the knee, rather than bring the foot back (the way you learn as a beginner) drop the knee to create the forward brush and lift the knee again which will bring the foot back slightly to create the spank or back. If you keep your ankles loose, the knee lifting and down will allow the foot to shuffle quickly. I'm sorry if this is confusing. It'd be much easier to SHOW you than TELL you. You might ask your teacher to break it down - or do a slow shuffle using the same technique she would use for a faster one.
re: Adjustments to my shuffle
By Afgncaap
On Fri Jul 20, 2012 03:06 AM
Thank you very much! I'll give this a shot next practice session!
re: Adjustments to my shuffle
By Tappercise
On Thu Jul 26, 2012 02:17 PM
To see some excellent examples of how to do a vertical shuffle with a relaxed ankle, go to YouTube and look for Sam Weber, who studied under Stan Kahn. Sam Weber is an exceptional tap dancer, and you can learn a lot about tap dancing from any of his DVDs. A vertical shuffle with a relaxed ankle has a piston movement that can make it look similar to a short flap. A swinging brush-spank shuffle has more of a pendulum movement.

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