TAP TERMINOLOGY

Ball Change:


Two quick changes of weight from one ball of the foot to the other.

 

Brush:


Striking of the ball of the foot or the toe tap against the floor. This is usually done in a direction. A backward brush is called a spank.

 

Buck / Chug:

Forward movement emphasizing the heel drop with weight on the same foot.

 

Buffalo:


Step consisting of a step, shuffle, and a small jump (with shuffling foot going behind)

 

Cincinnati:


A spank with one foot, drop the heel of the opposite foot, shuffle and a step. This step is performed traveling backwards and alternates feet.

 

Cramp Roll:


Step using toe and heel drops in a specific pattern.

 

Dig:

Digging of the heel into the floor without weight transfer.

 

Draw:


Pulling of the free foot from an open to a closed position with a sliding motion.

 

Essence:


Basic movement associated with soft shoe dancing.

 

Flap:


Brush and step with transfer of weight.

 

Heel / heel drop:


Forceful dropping of the heel on the floor, with the weight placed on the ball of the same foot.

 

Hop:


Jump into the air, landing on the same foot and keeping the heel lifted.

 

Irish:


Movement adopted from Irish folk dances, which consists of a shuffle, hop, and a step. This can be done traveling forwards or backwards and the shuffling foot usually crosses when stepping.

 

Jump:


Spring into the air from both balls of the feet and landing on the same.

 

Maxie Ford:

Step named for a famous dancer. Consists of a step, shuffle, jump, toe tip behind.

 

Pick-ups/Pullbacks:


Hop on one foot with a back brush in the air, landing on the same foot. Can be done as singles, doubles, or alternating. Shuffles and taps can also be added.

 

Riff:


Movement combining a brush and a scuff on the same foot.

 

Riffle:


Riff combined with a spank.

 

Scuff:


Forward movement hitting the heel of the foot on the ground.

 

Scuffle:

Scuff followed by a spank.

 

Shim-Sham:


Stomp, spank, step.  Alternating feet.

 

Shuffle:


Brush followed by a spank.

 

Slap:

Flap without weight transfer.

 

Soft Shoe:

Type of dance, originally done without shoes consisting of a step, brush (cross foot in foot), ball change .

 

Spank:

A backward brush of the ball of the foot.

 

Stamp:


Step onto the entire foot with weight transfer. (Like sticking a stamp to a letter)

 

Stomp:


Stamp without weight transfer.

 

Time Step:


An eight-measure movement, used to set the tempo.

 

Toe Drop:


Dropping the toe with weight on the foot.

 

Toe Stand:

Movement in which the dancer stands on the tips of the tap shoes: “en pointe”.

 

Toe Tip:


Striking the tip of the tap shoe against the ground.

 

Triplet:


Three sounds, usually a shuffle step.

 

Waltz Clog:


A dance in 3/4 time.

 

Wings:


With weight on one foot, a hop into the air while scraping the edge of the tap shoe on the ground. A brush is then done before landing on the same foot.

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