Eleanor here again! For this week’s blog we’re going to look at ways to gradually increase your tapping speed, and I have a fun challenge to set you at the end. Make sure to check out my Reel to get involved!
Technique before speed
As the saying goes, ‘if you can do it slow, you can do it fast’. There’s no point trying to tap at lightning speed if you haven’t perfected it at a slower pace first! Spend some time refining the steps you’re trying to speed up slowly, before attempting anything at full speed. By drilling everything at a slower speed, your muscle memory can be activated and speeding up will come much easier, as you’ll have less to actively think about!
Keep it small
If I had £1 for every time my dance teachers used to tell me this, I’d be a millionaire!! It may go without saying, but it’s much easier to tap quickly if your feet aren’t flying all over the shop. Keep your shuffles small and snappy, keep your paddles grounded, keep your knees soft and bent, and you’ll be tapping at the speed of light in no time! You can still make your moves look visually interesting by making your arm lines clean and sharp, by using your face, and by exaggerating the slower steps more.
The metronome is your bestie
If you leave a tap rehearsal with the sound of a metronome ingrained in your brain, I’ll bet it was a productive class! Even if you’re wanting to tap faster and faster, it’s still important to keep a steady beat and not rush. Install a metronome app on your phone and use it to gradually increase the BPM by a few beats at a time, and keep pushing yourself to hit the beats at each tempo increase. If you prefer, you can pick some of your favourite songs with different tempos to practise with, starting with the slowest and working up to the quickest. But a metronome allows you to know exactly how quick you’re going!
Keep your ankles loose
Important for any speed and style of tap! The more relaxed your ankles are, the more effortless it will be to make beats at a faster tempo. If you find yourself tensing up as you try to reach higher speeds, take some deep breaths and shake out your limbs. You’ve got this!
Ready to test your speed? Take a look at my Taylor Swift speed challenge on Instagram and give it a go. Don’t forget to tag @eleanxrmay and @movedancewear in your videos; we’d love to see how you get on! Happy tapping!