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Here is the long awaited steps to the Columbia tap dance. Good Luck
step falap falap falap falap falap step brush R L R L R L R L 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 7 8 step leap shuffle leap L R L L 1 2 & a 3 leap shuffle leap toe step brush R L L R R L 4 & 5 & 6 7 8 pause tap falap falap falap falap toe hop tap L L R L R L R L 1 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 7 & 8 shuffle leap shuffle leap shuffle leap shuffle leap leap pause (right leg should be up) L L R R L L R R L & a 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 5 6 7 8 shuffle leap shuffle leap shuffle leap shuffle leap shuffle leap shuffle leap shuffle leap shuffle leap R R L L R R L L R R L L R R L L & a 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a 5 & a 6 & a 7 & a 8 shuffle leap shuffle leap shuffle leap shuffle leap fall R R L L R R L L & a 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 5 6 7 8
Falap: Brush step. Makes two sounds. Brush out a foot and then step on it, then repeat with the next foot.
Shuffle: Technically, Brush Spank. Makes two sounds. brush a foot out front and then brush it back.
Leap: Leaps jump from one foot to the other. So shuffle leap would be brush one foot out front, brush it back, then jump onto that same foot and raise the other one. Multiple shuffle leaps in a row are known as rolling shuffles. Columbia does a series of these turning and then falls into the stairs.
Tap: Just tap your toe on the ground in front of you, then pick the foot back up. Do not put weight on this foot!
Toe: Jab the toe of one foot behind the other foot and then pick it back up. It's just a real quick stab.
Step: Step on that foot.
Brush: Brush a foot out in front of you.
Notes about the dance itself:
These steps apply only to the movements Columbia is making once you begin to hear tapping. She jumps off the jukebox, takes a couple of steps to prep herself, and the dance officially starts with the audible step on the right foot.
Hints to make your life easier:
When turning those rolling shuffles, spot your head. That means, look in the direction you are headed and don't turn your head until you absolutely have to, then snap it right back to the spot you were looking at. Doing this will keep you moving in a straight line and will lower the dizzyness factor.
The smaller you keep your steps, the easier it is to do them faster and keep control.
Before you even attempt to do the dance, watch the movie a few times and try to just say the steps along with the rhythm of the tapping. It helps sink the steps and rhythm in.
Heading off questions before they are asked:
Does this match what's on screen? Yes. It does. I have run it over and over again for years. There are a couple times when the film is a split second slower or faster than the taps, but never a whole step or anything. Also, Nell does a couple of cheater steps in the film, possibly to keep from slipping or something. But if you do this dance with the taps I promise you will match the screen.
I don't get it. What does all that crap up there mean?
I'm sorry. This type of tap choreolography can be tough for even a very experienced dancer to understand. Unfortunately, it's the easiest way to distribute the dance via the internet. We're working on something a bit easier. But, basically you have three lines. Line one is the step. Two is what foot the step should be done with, and three is the count it should sound on. Two sound steps (like shuffles) will have one foot mark but two counts.
How do you know you're right?
Well, I guess I can't know for absolute certain (and no one ever will, since Nell admitted she forgot the dance), but I have over twenty years dance experience specializing in tap. I'm also a dance instructor. It's my job to analyze tap steps based on their sounds and recreate the combinations. I'm really good at it. It's how choreographers "steal" each other's steps. It matches the sounds and screen, so I guess it's as close as it will ever be.
Be honest. How tough is this dance?
On a scale of one to ten, with one being an extremely easy tap routine and ten being extremely difficult, I give this a three. Anyone can do it with practice. The hardest part are those turning rolling shuffles, but if you just start out slowly, they speed up in no time. It's actually a pretty easy dance.
I still have questions.
Have fun, all!
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