Recommended: Thelma’s Tap Notes: A Step-By-Step Guide to Teaching Tap, Children’s Edition
196 pages, $89.95
One of the unique aspects of tap dance is how it’s passed down primarily by oral tradition. This can be frustrating for teachers when it comes to explaining complicated tap steps or needing an assessment tool—there aren’t many tap teaching models out there. Enter Thelma Goldberg, director of Massachusetts-based The Dance Inn and former producer of New England’s National Tap Dance Day celebrations. Goldberg has written a thorough guide to tap dance education, based on the progressive, rhythm-based curriculum she originally created for her own studio.
Organized by age-based levels (for kids 6–12), each chapter outlines goals to be achieved in technique, music theory and improvisation—taking the guesswork out of when to introduce certain steps and concepts to each age and ability level. Goldberg’s steps and combinations translate to the page surprisingly well, with counts, rhythms and weight shifts clearly indicated for easy follow-along. She includes sample class outlines, exercises, combinations, music suggestions and even a complete routine for each level—all with fun photos of Goldberg and her students in action.