One Way to Get Tap Students Excited About PROCESS


From cleaning routines or class drills, here's how.

First, lemme tell ya Kassie: I've got one Tap class of 7-10-year-olds that is tough...In part because it's my 4th consecutive Tap class of the day but also because they are new to dance classes in general, and are learning how to BE in dance class. (they usually whine more than my 3-4-year-old class )

Their stamina is low, so I have to be REALLY creative every week in terms of how I keep them engaged and motivated. 

In my earlier days of teaching I put my Tap students through the process without explaining it. Or maybe I'd talk about it once or twice, and well...we all know how that goes. 

So here's the thing...I intentionally teach my students ABOUT the nature of process.

If you're thinking "OH I'VE DONE THAT / I'VE TRIED THAT ALREADY" then keep reading. 

If you've "done" it or "tried" it, chances are that means that you may not be teaching this consistently, in an integrated way. Here's what I mean by "integrated" way.

These are 3 ways that I weave this "process lesson" into class, each and every week.


At the beginning of class

Before we do ANYTHING I greet each student by name, huddle them up, look at each one of them and say  

"Our goals today and every day are FOCUS & PROGRESS. I want you (Joe, Julie, Josiah), to make a chunk of progress today. If you feel a distraction coming, I want you to drive your mind back toward what we're doing in class and re-focus. If you do that, that's a big WIN. That's a high-five...Focus & Progress."

While we're working on a specific activity with repetition

 - I take time to acknowledge those who are remaining focused, ESPECIALLY when someone else starts to get distracted. I'll say "Hey Hey Jilly's eyes are so focused. Thanks Jilly for that."

Or I'll ask "Who's working toward progress right now? Who's making progress, raise your hand and tell me about it." 

I get excited about incremental progress, big-time.

It's not just about getting excited when they hit the perfect "wing" for the first time.

It's about applauding the process it took for them to get to that perfect wing...and them learning to respect that process.


At the end of class

We do our "shave & a haircut" ending, we huddle back up and I have them

"Repeat after me. 'I made progress today.'

They respond with a half-hearted whisper repeat of the phrase, so I repeat

Say it again! 'I made progress today!'"

They repeat with more strength 

"You did that. Thank you for your focus, and thank you for working for that progress. That's what it's all about. that's how you grow. That's how you become AWESOME. Little by little, day by day." 




In this way, I'm 


ļø¸instructing verbally, and



When I started Implementing this, along with the right teaching strategies to help them make progress faster, that 4th class of the day is a lot more productive, and it's a lot more fun for them AND me!


If you're not doing this already, try it out and let me know how it goes!


There's much more to helping them bring about progress, in terms of how I teach Tap technique, but that's a tale for another day. 


Here's to the process!

So now as a more "seasoned" teacher, I accept that one speech doesn't cut it. 

Repetition is our friend, we know right?






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