The bbodance (British Ballet Organisation) Tap Syllabus has been devised by Deborah Clark. She has provided us with a brilliant and comprehensive pathway leading from basic beginnings to a complete training in the diverse rhythms and forms of this art form. Our examinations start with Pre-Primary and Primary through Grades 1 to 6 and on to Vocational Grades. The Portslade School of Dancing also has an Adult Syllabus which is an enjoyable way to keep fit while dancing to the music. (See Newsletter Timetable)
A few notes on the history of Tap Dancing: Tap as we know it today has evolved from many sources and styles. Different countries and and cultures have contributed to its development giving this discipline a rich and interesting history.
The Wearing of clogs by the mill workers in the north of England gave rise to clog and step dancing. This is performed in its own right to this day. From these hard shoes developed intricate rhythms and beats. Likewise, in Ireland a similar traditional dance form flourished. “Riverdance” and other stage companies show the skill (and the stamina needed!) of Irish dancing. In North America black slaves developed their own form of rhythmic dancing which was derived from their African roots. Intricate drum rhythms were transferred to their feet. Over time each style and school of rhythmic dance borrowed from one another. Eventually, metal plates were devised for the toe and heels of shoes. This enlarged the repertoire of steps that are universally known today.