Many studios offer a combination preschool dance class of ballet and tap. We do not. Our Creative Movement Class for preschoolers is ballet based. We incorporate fun, developmentally appropriate ways for little ones to learn basic ballet technique and terminology along with basic rhythmic movements. So, why do we not start teaching tap at the preschool age?

Well, we have a few reasons.

  • Tap shoes are specialized dance shoes just like pointe shoes are. Dancers need fundamental skills, specific muscle strength, and specific muscle control to use the shoes appropriately.
  • Tap shoes have to fit the dancers feet. Often, to save money, families purchase tap shoes for their child to “grow into.” Tap shoes that do not fit appropriately will not allow the child to learn to execute the steps correctly.
  • Tap dance requires dancers to relax their ankle and foot joints.  It also requires that dancers use only one part of the foot at a time in order to produce clear and concise sounds. This is often too difficult for preschoolers to understand, let alone execute correctly. If they do not learn correctly, bad habits will develop preventing learning from progressing as it should.
Preschoolers in our Creative Movement classes are learning some basic percussive movements and rhythms that will prepare them for a beginner tap class that they can take beginning at age six. They learn simple “tap” movements such as tapping the ball of their foot on the floor and placing the edge of their heel on the floor. We challenge them to remember different patterns and strengthen their listening skills and musicality.
So, save your money on those tap shoes until they are a little older and developmentally ready to tap!