When I first found out about TapFit (the tap dancing cardio fitness craze that started in Brisbane and is slowly taking over the world) I have to admit that I wasn't the most enthusiastic volunteer. As a child, my sport was full-contact rugby (no joke, my dad was the local coach, so it was either that or grocery shopping with my mum every Saturday…) so let’s just say that any dance, excepting a poor imitation of the All Blacks’ haka, has never come naturally to me.
Would TapFit revolutionise my dance nous, and have me tapping my way to an enviable bod—or at least one that wasn’t entirely the consistency of a lukewarm jelly shot—all in under an hour? Towel, water bottle and a suspicious lack of tap shoes in hand, I set off to my very fist class ready to throw a few jazz hands…
Tap Dancing AND Cardio, How Does That Work?
TapFit is a unique blend of dance, traditional cardio, and targeted toning exercises, all brought together in a series of sequences, set to an upbeat soundtrack.
This means that from the get go I was using a resistance band while learning dance moves, and incorporating toning steps into routines. All the while making sure every muscle in my body was working, rather than letting my arms go limp while my legs went wild. By the end of the class I felt like I’d done an actual workout, glutes, calves, core and all.
What If I Don’t Want To Shell Out For Tap Shoes?
As a beginner this was my biggest fear: Being stuck in a room full of tap-shoe owners who were wondering why the hell I’d turned up in a pair of Adidas and my favourite PAM leggings, instead of some silver-soled profesh dance get-up.
Hands down, one of the BEST things about TapFit is that you don’t need a pair of tap shoes or anything special at all. TapFit has developed its very own slip-on tap soles, complete with metal tap toes and heels that slide over your own sneakers. Instant tap shoes!
They also have a special roll-out floor mat that means you can dance just about anywhere without the fear of scratching up that polished wooden floor or cracking a tile.
What Was The Actual Class Like?
The class itself lasted 45 minutes, taking me through a cycle of dance steps and toning activities, pausing in between songs to have a sip of water. While TapFit offers a variety of classes, including Latin, street, and funk, the class I opted for was Broadway (um, because Tap Dogs), meaning that I was in for around six show tunes complete with their own set of steps. We repeated each sequence at least three times, meaning that by the third time I kinda had it… And when I didn’t, one of the instructors showed me a simplified version so that I didn’t have to stop dancing altogether.
Also, jazz hands. Lots of jazz hands. The instructors are super-enthusiastic and really give it everything, which makes it waaaaaay easier to get into the swing (or tap?) of things.
Was It Difficult To Pick Up The Steps?
If you were a dance school child you’ll LOVE revisiting the rhythms and moves from your junior years, and you’ll be dancing along in no time at all. If you weren’t, it may take you a little longer to figure out which foot should go where (or the difference between your heel and your toe. Yeah, I really should’ve stuck to the rugby…) but once you’ve been through a routine a handful of times, you’ll be surprised at just how quickly you pick up the steps the next time it comes up in class. I’d say that by class three, you’ll have it covered.
Helpful Do’s & Don’t’s
- Do tie your shoelaces really, really tightly. You don’t want to lose a shoe halfway through a step (I retied half-way through the class, just to be sure.).
- Do spend a little time getting used to the tap shoes. It’s a bit like ice-skating, it’ll take you a few moves to get used to the sound and feel.
- Do bring your jazz hands. It’s heaps more fun if you get into it and pretend that you’re strutting along a Broadway stage, instead of staring at your reflection in a dance studio mirror.
- Don’t eat a huge meal before you go. I know this applies to virtually any physical activity, but you won’t be feeling great mid-class if you’ve just destroyed a parma.
- Don’t stress about looking like an idiot. Seriously, everyone’s in it together!
Where Can I Find A Class?
TapFit runs classes in a variety of dance studios across Australia. Visit the website for more info.
Image Credit: TapFit