Increase intensity in your step class without adding complexity or impact by incorporating some tap-free techniques you may have forgotten about. Because teaching tap-free keeps you moving, even basic combinations feel harder. But when there are no taps in your step choreography, movement is smoother. Your feet spend less time on the ground. Following are some suggestions for transforming tap-based step choreography to tap-free.
Turn-Step to Shuffle-Turn. Change the turn-step to a shuffle-turn to make it tap-free. A shuffle turn is a 4-count move that scoots twice across the step with the same leg, and then turns the body while exiting the step to face slightly sideways.
Over-the-Top to Scissor. Transform a classic with another fun exercise. A scissor is a 4-count move that begins by facing the side of the room. Step onto the step; cross the other leg behind the starting leg while keeping the starting leg on the step; step down with the crossing leg; step down with the starting leg.
Revolving Door. This is another tap-free option for over-the-top. It combines two over-the-tops into one 8-count move. Instead of exiting the step facing the side wall, continue turning your body so your outside shoulder turns to face the step. You’ll very briefly face the back of the room before doing another over-the-top.
Hop-Turn. The hop-turn can be made tap-free by changing your approach. Similar to the revolving door, if you keep turning your body around to face the step, you can begin the move following the hop-turn without a tap-down.
Holding Patterns. Moves like corner knees and corner hamstring curls are good ways to keep the class moving without taps while demonstrating moves or if you need to leave your step.
Putting It Together
Following are three tap-free choreography blocks ranging from basic to advanced:
Block 1: Basic
Use this combination during the warm-up or the body of class:
- corner hamstring curl (8 counts)
- basic step (8 counts)
- repeater knee (8 counts)
- shuffle turn (8 counts)
Block 2: Intermediate
This combo uses the short end of the step. Make sure participants are comfortable with not directly facing you before you teach this combo.
- L-step (8 counts)
- V-step (4 counts)
- corner hamstring curl (4 counts)
- scissor (4 counts)
- knee straddle (4 counts)
- repeater knee (8 counts)
Block 3: Advanced
This block moves around the step, has faster footwork and includes a blind entry to the step. Progress to these moves once your class is ready.
- L-stomp: Step onto step, knee-lift, stomp floor and side of step twice, stomp back and exit (8 counts).
- Reverse turn: Step one foot onto step with leg crossing center, step other foot onto step while turning to face back wall, continue turning and exit facing front (4 counts).
- Skate on top: Perform three alternating hamstring curls on top of step and exit (8 counts).
- Corner knees: Do one corner knee (4 counts).
- Corner knee: do one corner knee and exit (don’t travel) (4 counts).
- Rock step cha-cha: Take one step back on floor, transfer weight to forward foot, cha-cha-cha forward (4 counts).
In addition to teaching tap-free choreography, remind participants about proper posture and stepping with control. One easy way for participants to control their intensity is to adjust step height. The recommended step height for novice participants is 4–6 inches. Intermediate-to-advanced steppers may use a step height up to 10 inches.
For more ideas, refer to the complete article, “Step Solutions” in the online IDEA Library or in the June 2011 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal.
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