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Tap Dance as a Form of Exercise: Benefits and Steps

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Imagine a form of exercise that not only improves your cardiovascular health, but also strengthens your muscles, enhances your balance and coordination, and reduces stress. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, believe it or not, tap dance checks off all these boxes and more. This rhythmic dance style, which involves creating percussion-like sounds with your feet, has been gaining popularity as a fun and effective way to stay fit. In this article, we’ll explore the various benefits of tap dance as exercise, as well as provide tips on how to get started and make the most of your tap dance workouts. Let’s put on our dancing shoes and dive in!

Benefits of Tap Dance as Exercise

Benefits Of Tap Dance As Exercise
Tap dancing is not only a form of art and entertainment but also a great way to get exercise. With its rhythmic and fast-paced movements, tap dance can provide a wide range of physical and mental benefits. From cardiovascular health to weight loss, tap dance has become a popular choice for people of all ages and fitness levels. In this section, we will explore the numerous benefits of tap dance as exercise and how it can enhance your well-being.

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Tap dance requires high energy and precision footwork, making it a great form of cardiovascular exercise. Regular participation in tap dance can help improve the health of your heart and lungs, reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease and stroke, and improve your overall physical fitness.

According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, tap dancing can provide an effective cardio workout for both beginners and experienced dancers. This is due to the repetitive nature of the steps, which involve continuous movement and coordination of the feet and legs, leading to an increase in heart rate and calorie burning.

Additionally, tap dance can help improve your rhythm and timing, which is important for cardiovascular health. When you dance to the beat of the music, your heart rate and breathing pattern sync with the rhythm, providing an effective workout for your heart and lungs.

Another way tap dance can benefit your cardiovascular health is by increasing your endurance levels. As you continue to practice and improve your technique, you will be able to perform longer routines without feeling fatigued, leading to a stronger and healthier heart.

Tap dance is an enjoyable way to improve your cardiovascular health while also having fun and expressing yourself through dance. So, put on your tap shoes and get ready to step to the beat! For more information on the benefits of tap dance exercise, please refer to our previous article.

Strengthens Muscles

Tap dance is not only a great form of artistic expression but also an excellent workout. The physical benefits of tap dance are numerous, and one of the most significant advantages is that it strengthens muscles. Regular tap dancing can help develop and tone the muscles of the lower body, especially the legs, hips, and ankles.

When you tap dance, the repeated movements of tapping and stepping help build strength in your leg muscles. This includes your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. The constant rise and fall on your toes while dancing helps to strengthen and tone your ankle muscles. The small but precise muscle movements required for tap dance also help develop control and agility in your feet and toes.

With regular practice, your muscles become accustomed to the movements and begin to adapt, leading to a gradual increase in strength and endurance. As a result, tap dancing provides not only a great cardiovascular workout but also an effective strength training routine.

Muscle Groups Benefits
Calves Increased strength, endurance, and tone
Quads & Hamstrings Toned muscles, improved flexibility, and increased endurance
Glutes Improved muscle tone, better posture, and reduced risk of injury
Ankle muscles Increased strength, stability, and balance
Feet and Toe muscles Improved control of the feet, greater agility, and better precision in dance movements

It is worth noting that tap dance does not only improve physical fitness, but it also trains the brain and improves cognitive skills such as memory and coordination. Tap dance is a low-impact exercise, making it an ideal choice for people with joint problems or at risk of injury from high-impact activities.

To make the most of tap dance as a muscle strengthening workout, it is essential to incorporate it into your regular exercise routine. By doing so, you can combine the health benefits of cardio, strength training, and flexibility work into one fun and engaging activity. With proper guidance and practice, anyone can benefit from the strength and wellness that tap dance provides.

Enhances Balance and Coordination

Tap dance is an excellent exercise that enhances balance and coordination. Since this dance form involves intricate footwork and rhythms, it requires a great deal of coordination, focus, and balance. As a result, regular practice of tap dance can significantly improve your coordination and balance.

When you tap dance, your brain receives signals to coordinate your feet with the music, which enables you to maintain balance and stability. This, in turn, improves the connection between your brain and muscles and promotes better control over your body movements.

While performing tap dance, you need to maintain proper posture and alignment, which further enhances your balance and coordination. Good posture can also prevent injuries and promote healthy development of your muscles and joints.

Tap dance is an ideal exercise for people of all ages, and it can be especially beneficial for older adults, who might struggle with balance issues. Not only does it improve balance and coordination, but it can also help prevent falls and other balance-related accidents.

Tap dance is a fascinating dance form that provides numerous physical and mental benefits. It allows you to challenge yourself, improve your coordination and balance, and have fun while doing it.

To learn more about tap dance and its benefits, you can check out resources like history of tap dance, famous tap dancers, and tap dance culture. Additionally, for tips on improving your tap dance technique, you can refer to articles on importance of rhythm in tap dance, improving tap dance technique, and different tap styles. For getting started with tap dance exercises, you can read the right tap shoes guide. If you are interested in incorporating tap dance into musical theatre performances, you can read the article on tapdance in musical theatre incorporation.

Burns Calories and Promotes Weight Loss

One of the major benefits of tap dance as exercise is that it burns calories and promotes weight loss. As with any physical activity, tap dance requires energy and effort, which helps to increase your heart rate and boost your metabolism.

According to a study by the American Council on Exercise, a 150-pound person can expect to burn around 300 calories during a 30-minute tap dance session. This makes tap dance a great option for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

In addition to the calorie-burning benefits, tap dance also helps to build muscle tone and increase overall endurance. This means that the more you practice, the easier it will become and the more calories you will burn over time.

It’s important to note that tap dance should be combined with a healthy diet and other forms of exercise for optimal weight loss results. However, incorporating tap dance into your exercise routine can be a fun and effective way to burn calories and improve your overall fitness.

If you’re new to tap dance, it’s important to start slowly and work your way up to more advanced routines. Remember to always wear the proper shoes to prevent injury. For more information on choosing the right tap shoes, check out our right tap shoes guide.

Reduces Stress and Boosts Mood

Tap dance is not only a physically beneficial exercise, but it also has positive effects on mental health. Reducing stress is one of the main benefits of tap dance as exercise. When you tap dance, your mind is focused on the steps and the rhythm, making it difficult for negative thoughts or stressors to take over. This can help you feel more relaxed and less anxious.

Tap dance is known to boost mood. As you dance, your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that induce feelings of happiness and pleasure. Additionally, tap dance is a social activity, and socializing with others can increase feelings of connectedness and belonging, which can also help boost mood.

Incorporating tap dance as part of your exercise routine can have numerous benefits for your physical and mental health. It’s a fun way to reduce stress, boost mood, and attain a healthy and fit body.

Getting Started with Tap Dance Exercise

Getting Started With Tap Dance Exercise
If you’re feeling inspired to start tap dancing as a form of exercise, but aren’t sure how to begin, don’t worry! This section will guide you through the process of getting started with tap dance exercise. From choosing the right shoes to developing simple routines, you’ll find everything you need to know to begin a tap dance workout. Whether you’re new to tap dance or just need a refresher, these steps will help you feel confident and ready to jump in. So let’s put on our tap shoes and get started!

Choose the Right Shoes

Selecting the appropriate shoes is crucial when it comes to tap dancing as exercise. The right choice of shoes can help enhance your performance and prevent injury. Here are some key factors to consider:

Factor Importance Details
Material High Look for shoes made of leather or synthetic materials that are durable and flexible. Avoid rubber soles, as they can hinder your ability to create crisp sounds.
Fit High Ensure that your shoes fit snugly but not too tight, allowing your feet to move and flex. Try on different styles and brands to find the one that suits you best.
Heel Medium Choose a heel that feels comfortable and keeps your weight centered over the ball of your foot. Beginners should start with a low heel, around 1 inch, and gradually increase as they gain confidence.
Style Low There are different styles of tap shoes, such as oxford, jazz, or character, but the most popular are lace-up or slip-on. Choose the style that suits your personal preference and comfort.

By carefully considering the factors mentioned above, you can select the right shoes for your tap dance workout. It’s also important to ensure that you clean your shoes regularly and keep them in good condition for optimal performance.


Before starting any exercise, it is important to properly warm up the body to prevent injuries and prepare the muscles for physical activity. Here are some effective warm-up exercises for tap dance:

  • Stretching: Begin with gentle stretches to warm up the muscles in your legs, ankles, and feet. Flex and point your feet, do ankle rolls, and stretch your calves and hamstrings.
  • Cardiovascular exercise: You can start with a few minutes of light cardiovascular exercise, such as jumping jacks or marching in place, to raise your heart rate and increase blood flow throughout the body.
  • Tap dance drills: To get your body familiar with the taps and movements of tap dance, you can perform some basic tap dance drills. Try a few simple shuffle steps, flaps, or time steps to get your feet moving.

Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your warm-up as your body warms up. A good warm-up should last about 5-10 minutes and leave you feeling energized and ready to tap dance.

Basic Steps

When starting out with tap dance exercise, it’s important to learn the basic steps to build a strong foundation for more complex routines.

Here are some of the most commonly used basic steps in tap dance, along with their descriptions and benefits:

Step Description Benefits
Shuffle A quick back and forth movement of the foot, usually in a closed position with the other foot. Helps build speed and precision in footwork, while also improving balance and coordination.
Brush A quick movement in which the ball of the foot brushes the floor, creating a tapping sound. Strengthens the muscles in the foot and ankle, while also improving agility and control.
Hop A small jump onto one foot, often followed by a brush or shuffle. Increases cardiovascular endurance and leg strength, while also improving rhythm and timing.
Flap A combination of a brush and a step, in which the ball of the foot brushes forward and then steps down onto the floor. Improves technique and precision, while also engaging the muscles in the legs and core.
Ball Change A quick transfer of weight from one foot to the other, often involving a small hop. Develops agility and speed in footwork, while also improving balance and coordination.

Practicing these basic steps regularly can help you develop a strong foundation in tap dance exercise, which can then be built upon with more complex routines and choreography. Remember to start slowly and focus on proper technique, gradually increasing speed and difficulty as your skills improve.

Simple Routines

Once you have mastered the basic steps of tap dance, you can start trying out some simple routines. These routines will help you to combine steps and move fluidly on the dance floor. Here are some simple routines you can try out:

  • Shuffle-Ball-Change: This routine involves three basic steps: shuffle, ball change, and step. Begin by doing a shuffle step, transferring your weight from your front foot to your back foot. Next, perform a ball change, which involves quickly transferring your weight from your back foot to your front foot. Finally, take a step with your back foot to complete the routine.
  • Time Step: The time step involves seven steps and is a classic tap dance move. The steps include a brush, step, heel dig, step, heel dig, step, and stomp. The key to mastering the time step is to practice it slowly at first, gradually building up speed as you become more comfortable with the routine.
  • Waltz Clog: The waltz clog is a three-step routine that involves a heel, ball, and toe step. Begin by stepping forward with your left foot and placing your right heel on the ground, followed by a ball step with the right foot, and then touching the ground with the left toe. Repeat the routine with the other foot.
  • Cramp Roll: The cramp roll is a two-step routine that involves a shuffle step and cramp step. Begin by doing a shuffle step, followed by a cramp step where you lift your toes and tap your heel twice. Repeat the routine with the other foot.

By practicing these simple routines, you can develop your skills and build up your confidence in tap dancing. Remember to take your time and practice each routine slowly at first, focusing on your footwork and timing. As you become more comfortable with these routines, you can then move on to more challenging choreography.

Challenging Choreography

Once you have mastered the basic steps and simple routines, you may want to challenge yourself with more complex and challenging choreography in tap dance exercise. This can not only add variety to your workout but also provide a greater challenge for your muscles, balance, and coordination.

Here are some tips to help you tackle challenging choreography:

  • Break down the steps: Complex routines can appear overwhelming, but breaking them down into smaller parts can make them more manageable. Focus on mastering one section first before moving on to the next.
  • Practice slowly: It can be tempting to try to go fast, but practicing slowly will help you perfect the technique and timing of each step before increasing the tempo.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat: Repetition is key to learning any new skill, and tap dance is no exception. Keep practicing until the steps become second nature and feel confident in your ability to perform them.
  • Find a teacher or class: If you are struggling to learn more advanced tap dance choreography on your own, consider joining a class or finding a teacher who can guide you through the process and provide personalized feedback.
  • Challenge yourself safely: As with any form of exercise, it’s important to challenge yourself while also being mindful of your limitations and avoiding injury. Listen to your body, take breaks as needed, and don’t push yourself beyond your limits.

Remember: Challenging choreography in tap dance exercise may not come easily at first, but with practice and dedication, you can master even the most complex routines. Stick with it and enjoy the physical and mental benefits that come with this dynamic and exhilarating form of exercise.

Tips for Effective Tap Dance Workout

As you continue your tap dance exercise journey, it’s important to remember that every workout should be effective and efficient to maximize the benefits. To help you make the most out of your tap dance routine, here are some valuable tips to keep in mind. From setting achievable goals to combining tap dance with other exercises, these tips will help elevate your workout experience and take your fitness to the next level. Ready to tap into the best version of yourself? Let’s get started.

Set Goals and Track Progress

One way to stay motivated and make progress while practicing tap dance exercise is to set clear goals and track your progress over time. Setting goals can help you focus your efforts, measure your success, and see how far you’ve come. Here are some tips on how to set goals and track your progress in your tap dance workout routine:

1. Define Specific Goals: The first step is to define specific goals that are challenging, yet attainable. For example, you might set a goal of learning a complex tap dance routine within a certain time frame or mastering a set of advanced steps. Be sure to write down your goals and make them specific and measurable.

2. Break Down Your Goals into Smaller Steps: Achieving a big goal can seem daunting, so it’s important to break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. For example, if your goal is to learn a complex dance routine, break down the routine into smaller sections and practice each section until you master it before moving on to the next section.

3. Keep a Workout Journal: A workout journal is a great tool for tracking your progress and staying motivated. Write down your goals, your daily practice routines, and your progress. This will help you stay focused and motivated.

4. Track Your Progress: To see how far you’ve come, keep track of your progress in your workout journal or on a chart. For example, you might keep track of the number of times you practice a certain move, how many times you’ve performed a certain routine, or how many steps you’ve mastered. Celebrate your progress along the way, even if it’s just a small improvement.

5. Evaluate Your Progress and Adjust Your Goals: Regularly evaluate your progress and adjust your goals as needed. If you find that you’re not making progress or your goals are too ambitious, adjust them accordingly. On the other hand, if you find that you’re making quick progress, set more challenging goals to keep yourself motivated and engaged.

Goal Steps to Achieve Progress
Learn complex tap dance routine Break down routine into smaller sections and practice each section until mastered. Mastered first two sections of routine, 1/5 of the way to goal.
Master advanced tap dance steps Practice each step slowly and steadily until mastered, then increase tempo and add variations. Mastered two of six advanced steps, 33% of the way to goal.
Improve balance and coordination Practice balance exercises and drills, incorporate more challenging footwork into routines. Noticing increased balance and coordination in daily activities, 50% of the way to goal.

Setting goals and tracking progress is an effective way to stay motivated, make progress, and achieve success in tap dance exercise. By breaking down goals into smaller steps, keeping a workout journal, and regularly evaluating progress, you can stay on track and see how far you’ve come.

Mix with Other Exercises

An effective tap dance workout can be even more beneficial when combined with other forms of exercise. Mixing tap dance with activities like strength training or yoga helps to achieve a well-rounded fitness routine. Here are some ways to mix tap dance with other exercises to maximize the benefits:

  • Strength training: Incorporating strength training exercises, such as lunges or squats, during tap dance routines can increase muscle resistance and make movements more challenging.
  • Yoga: Adding yoga poses like downward facing dog or warrior II into a tap dance routine can improve flexibility and balance.
  • Cardio: Combining tap dance with an aerobic exercise, such as jogging or cycling, can help to increase the overall intensity of the workout and improve cardiovascular health.
  • Pilates: Pilates focuses on building core strength, which can be beneficial to tap dance movements that require abdominal engagement. Adding Pilates exercises to a tap dance routine can improve strength, balance, and flexibility.

Mixing different forms of exercise can make for a more dynamic and interesting workout routine. It also helps to challenge the body in different ways, which can prevent plateaus and promote overall fitness gains. However, it’s important to listen to your body and avoid overtraining, especially if you’re new to tap dance or the other forms of exercise you’re incorporating.

Stay Hydrated and Nourished

Proper hydration and nutrition are vital components of any workout routine, including tap dance. It is essential to drink plenty of water before, during, and after a tap dance workout to prevent dehydration and keep the body functioning optimally.

Another important aspect of maintaining good health and energy levels while tap dancing is proper nourishment. It is crucial to consume a well-balanced diet rich in essential nutrients that support overall health and physical performance. The body requires energy to perform any physical activity, and tap dancing is no exception.

Experts recommend consuming a diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. Consuming a balanced meal that contains carbohydrates, proteins, and fats approximately 2-3 hours before a tap dance workout can provide the necessary fuel and prevent fatigue and low energy levels during the session.

Additionally, it is a good idea to snack on easily digestible carbohydrates, such as fruits, crackers, or granola bars, 30 minutes to an hour before the workout. These foods can provide the body with the quick energy needed to perform the dance steps effectively.

Staying hydrated and nourished is a critical aspect of a successful tap dance workout routine. By keeping the body well-hydrated and well-fed with nutritious foods, individuals can optimize their physical performance, prevent fatigue, and ensure that they are getting the most out of their tap dance exercise experience.


In conclusion, tap dance is a fun and versatile form of exercise that offers numerous health benefits. As we have seen, it can improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, enhance balance and coordination, burn calories, reduce stress, and boost mood. Additionally, it is a low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels.

If you are new to tap dance, getting started can be a bit intimidating, but with the right shoes and warm-up routine, you can easily learn the basic steps and progress to simple routines and challenging choreography. Remember to set goals and track your progress, mix tap dance with other exercises, and stay hydrated and nourished to get the most out of your workout.

Whether you are looking to improve your fitness or simply have fun and express yourself through movement, tap dance can be a great way to achieve your goals. So put on those tap shoes and start tapping your way to better health and happiness!

Preguntas frecuentes

What age do you have to be to start tap dancing?

It’s never too early or too late to start tap dancing. Classes are available for all ages, from toddlers to seniors.

Do you need any previous dance experience to learn tap dance?

No, tap dance is suitable for beginners and those with little to no dance experience.

Can tap dancing be done at home?

Yes, tap dancing can be done at home with a proper tap dance floor and tap shoes.

Do you need a partner to tap dance?

No, tap dancing can be done solo or in a group.

What type of shoes are best for tap dancing?

Tap shoes with metal taps on the sole and heel are the best for tap dancing.

How often should I practice tap dancing to see results?

Practicing tap dance two to three times per week can lead to noticeable improvements in coordination, strength, and cardiovascular health.

Is tap dancing a high-impact exercise?

Yes, tap dancing is a high-impact exercise that can put stress on the joints. It is important to wear supportive shoes and use proper form to minimize the risk of injury.

Can tap dancing help with stress relief?

Yes, tap dancing can help in reducing stress and boosting mood as it serves as a kind of therapy by diverting your mind from daily problems.

What type of music is typically used in tap dancing?

Tap dance is typically done to jazz or big band music, but modern tap dancers may incorporate hip-hop or contemporary music into their routines.

Can tap dance help in achieving weight loss?

Yes, tap dancing is an effective form of exercise that can help in burning calories and promoting weight loss if done regularly.


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