Rhythm Tap for Beginners

 4 week softshoe tap class

WhenThursdays at 7:30pm starting June 9th
Recordings of class are also available for those who want to learn remotely
Where: RVA Swing, 6114C Lakeside Ave or online via YouTube class recordings

Pre-requisites: No tap experience needed. Basic jazz experience will be helpful, but is not required.

Instructor: Mike Herring

Cost: Sliding Scale Pricing $20 to $60 per person for the series

COVID Safety: proof of up-to-date (boosted) vax required, masks required

What is Softshoe Tap? 

Softshoe tap just means tap dancing without metal taps!  This means you do not need special shoes to take this class: any leather-soled shoe will do for this class.

Swing dancing is richly intertwined with tap & vernacular solo jazz and both forms of dancing influenced each other greatly.  Jazz dance, tap, Lindy Hop & swing music in general are art forms developed by Black Americans and are now a world-wide phenomenon.  Unlike codified European dance styles, which often require dancers to strive for a very specific style or form, vernacular jazz encourages individual style and expression.

In today's modern Lindy Hop community, solo dancing is seen as an integral part of the broader canvas of your partnered dancing, as well as a way to study & appreciate the originators of this dance. Solo movement classes are primarily about personal expression, and getting acquainted with how your body moves.  At RVA Swing, we seek to cultivate an awareness & appreciation of the history & origins of jazz dance, as well as for the dance itself.

About the class

This class will focus on tap rhythms rather than memorizing choreography. We will start with the absolute basics: steps, pauses, weight changes, and different parts of the shoe. We will slowly build up a rhythmic language you can use to create your own patterns on the fly!

No experience is required, though a passing familiarity with solo jazz moves or the Shim Sham would be helpful. 

This is a softshoe class, so please wear hard leather soled shoes (e.g. bring your Aris Allens) - no metal taps allowed. 

If you have questions about the class feel free to email Mike at mherring@gmail.com.

About your instructor:

Mike Herring
 is a tap and swing dancer, instructor, and choreographer with 30 years of experience. He started out doing shows in his living room at age 6 after watching the chimney sweep scene in Mary Poppins too many times. 

Since then he has performed with the Boston Tap Company, DrumatiX, Ash Lawn Opera, the Charlottesville Ballet, Wilson School of Dance, the Greater Boston Stage Company, SwingCville, ACME Swing Mfg. Co, and Boston Lindy Hop. He has taught at many regional events such as Jammin on the James and The Process, as well as being a featured performer at Lindy Focus.

Social Distancing & Safety for In-Studio Classes

-- All students must be pre-registered and pre-paid at least 1 hour before class. (Absolutely no walk-ins)

-- All students must verify their up-to-date (boosted) vaccine status with the studio

--Wear a face mask that covers both your mouth & nose during your entire studio visit. 

Masks are required 100% of the time 

Bandannas, neck gaiters, and plastic face shields are not acceptable substitutes for a mask. (Disposable masks will be available should you forget to bring your own)

Additional safety measures: our studio is equipped with 4 HEPA/UVC air purifiers to help keep the air refreshed for you!

About Sliding Scale Pricing

Our sliding scale is about making dance more accessible to everyone, while also making sure our instructors are paid fairly for their time & labor.  Those in a position to pay a little more can choose to do so & help to support our community.  

Supporter/Sustainer Price: you easily meet your own needs and have plenty of expendable income

Standard Price: you meet your own needs and have some expendable income

Discounted Price: you struggle to meet your needs and/or don't have much expendable income

Questions? Email us at RVAswing@gmail.com. This is the best and fastest way to contact us.

Register Online:

Registration is now closed

Proof of vax required prior to registration. Email a photo of your vax card to RVAswing@gmail.com

Just want to learn remotely via our video recordings?  
Shoot us an email at RVAswing@gmail.com with the following info:
1) your name

2) which price tier you'd like ($60, $50, $40, $20) 

3) whether you'd like to pay with Venmo or have us send you a PayPal invoice

How to find us

The RVA Swing studio is located inside the Lakeside Towne Center, at 6114 Lakeside Ave.  There is tons of free parking in the lot adjacent to the Farmer's Market pavilion, as well as behind the Towne Center building.  Enter through the Towne Shops door under the RVA Swing sign and head down the hallway! 

Please note that some GPS systems will send you about 2 blocks away.  You want the parking lot by the Farmers Market and the CVS. :)