How To Teach a Traveling Flap With Heel Drop

Hebach, left, and Morrison at the ATDF studios. Photo by Kyle Froman

Susan Hebach and Margaret Morrison believe it's important to get your beginning tappers moving through space with their flaps. An easy way to do this is with a traveling flap-heel. Remember to lift the knee and bring the leg with you as you travel forward.

The next phase? Take away the heel and replace it with a clap—this helps students develop enough foot strength and control to balance on the ball of the foot.

Susan Hebach directs the ATDF youth program. She studied at Woodpeckers Tap Dance Center with master tappers Brenda Bufalino, Barbara Duffy and Dianne Walker. She founded the company The Tap Collective in 1996 and has served on the dance faculty for Oklahoma City University and Stephens College.

Margaret Morrison is ATDF's education advisor, overseeing the foundation's training programs. She began her tap dance performance career in 1986 as a founding member of Brenda Bufalino's American Tap Dance Orchestra. She earned her MFA in dance from the American Dance Festival/Hollins University, and she is on faculty at Barnard College, where she also directs the Tap Ensemble.

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