by Gregg Russell
Teaching tap slides can be trickier than you think. Most students like to lift their heels off the ground and straighten their legs when they slide; however, doing this makes it harder to control the slide and maximize its length. Three rules to guide them: feet flat (helps maintain balance); plié (makes sliding on a challenging surface like marley easier); and weight evenly distributed (helps with connecting the slide to the next step).
Most teachers start class with a warm-up designed with technique and coordination in mind. Consider incorporating a rhythm warm-up as well, to get students in tune with the music and improve their ability to retain steps. With younger students, it can be as easy as having them sit down and drum rhythms you give them. For older students, teach a short progression without counts that requires them to follow you.