PC Ryan Barrett, Courtesy OKCU

#TapDancerStruggles: What To Do If Your College Tap Classes Aren't Hard Enough

In college dance programs, tap usually doesn't get the same kind of love as modern and ballet. So what's a serious tap dancer to do? Here's how to pick a program that will challenge you—and how to get by if your school doesn't offer enough tap.

Ask your teachers for help.

Oklahoma City University offers 10 levels of tap. Photo by Ryan Barrett, courtesy OKCU.

They're teaching to the level of the class, but they likely have more to offer, says Marymount Manhattan College senior MaryKate Walsh.

Look for a community in your area.

Especially if your school is located in an urban setting, outside opportunities to tap probably exist.

Start your own club.

Ryan P. Casey. Photo by Cynthia Clayton, courtesy Casey

According to master tap teacher Ryan P. Casey, tap clubs often arise from situations where students aren't getting enough tap in their curriculum.

Teach yourself.

Online resources like Operation: Tap make it easy for you to give yourself class and learn combinations on your own or with friends.

Go to tap festivals.

Use your breaks from school to experience a variety of tap styles all in one place.

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What Copyright Protections Do Choreographers Have Over Their Work?

When choreography is created, is it protected by copyright? Yes and no.

JaQuel Knight is facing this question today in his journey to copyright his iconic choreographic work with artists like Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion. Thanks to U.S. copyright law, the process has not been easy. Through a partnership with the Dance Notation Bureau, Knight has been working with Lynne Weber to put his work into Labanotation. On July 9, 2020, he received an approved registered copyright for his "Single Ladies" choreography, making him the first commercial choreographer in pop music to succeed in copyrighting his work.

Understanding the challenges in making this happen requires a close look at the history of U.S. copyright law. Here's what dancemakers should know about the background of copyright, how they can register their work and what more could be done to legally protect dance.

February 2021