Revised Grade 5 Tap Course
4 September 2013
Andre Koschyk reports on the course, held at ISTD2 Dance Studios on Friday 26th July
I had the pleasure of attending one of the first Tap courses held introducing the new Grade 5 work. We were about 33 teachers in the ground floor studio of ISTD2, so you can imagine that it sometimes got a bit crowded and a bit warm. Fortunately the air-conditioning was working at full speed! Nevertheless, it was great to see some familiar faces and meet new faces. I personally feel that it is one of the great aspects of a course to meet new people and exchange thoughts and ideas.
“I love the use of free music for the exercises and the tracks are accessible to all teachers online”
Our lecturer for the day was Miss Alison Forester who is part of the Creative Team for the new Syllabus. As this was the last day of a five-day run, Alison had been delivering this course the whole week at ISTD2 and I must say she looked as fresh as a daisy and had great energy!
We had a lot of work to get through so no wasting time and straight to it. What can I say about the new work? It is great! The creative team has done a fabulous job in filling the gap between the new Grade 4 and (the not so new anymore) Grade 6 syllabus.
I love the use of free music for the exercises and the tracks are accessible to all teachers online. Having now the ‘full set’ of grades will help anybody working towards their status exams as it wasn’t always easy when you had to work with partially new and partially old syllabi.
The new work has a very easy and relaxed touch. It goes more in the direction of Rhythm Tap and the exercises work really well. The two ‘old’ amalgamations were kept for this grade and two new ones are introduced so the candidate has a choice of four amalgamations (two have to be presented in the exam).
The Tango was choreographed by Jason Di Mascio; the Swing by Nick French. Two very contrasting pieces that are fun to dance and I am looking forward to coaching my future children on these.
I particularly liked the Bow of Grade 5. Wait – that sounds a bit awkward – I should explain a bit further. The Bow consists of the ‘Shim Sham’, which is a great classic in the repertoire of Tap and apparently not well-known in Britain. Well, I have the feeling that this will change very soon!
All in all it was a long, hard but also fun and rewarding day at ISTD2. Thank you Alison for all your work and your inspiring way of teaching. It is always appreciated to have an enthusiastic lecturer.
To all other teachers who have not booked a place for a course – do it now! And if you have done a course already, book another one! I think one needs to attend a course on new syllabi more than once. The first time you see new work you may have to sort out new steps, settings, new movements or various styles. So you take it home, work on it and come back knowing you don’t have to worry about that aspect anymore and you can concentrate on other aspects.
Andre Koschyk (from Germany)