Tap-N-Burn

Various
Year Released: 2003

Categories: Instructional / How To Videos



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This is obviously supposed to be a tap-dance instructional tap for Generations X and Y. I am older than that (40) but I enjoyed it. I should say that I have minimal tap experience (all by home video).
There are four short routines. Each is taught slowly without music then gone through a couple of times with music. The cast teaches the steps facing you and there is an inset picture showing the feet close up. At least in theory. Quite often neither camera catches the feet and one has to keep adjusting one's vision to try to figure out what is going on. The main camera will be showing the dancers' faces or the inset camera will show someone's feet going out of range. Or the dancers in the main picture will be directly behind the inset picture. Frustrating but I don't think these flaws will keep me from learning the steps fairly quickly.
The music is contemporary instrumental, enjoyable but not memorable.
Two other flaws: I had read a review of this video in our local paper and was under the impression that the first half (about 30 minutes is instructional) and the second half is was a run-through of all four routines without the instructional aspect and up to speed. Actually, it is just the exact same run-through you've already practiced in the first half without the slow portion and without the inset picture of the feet. I can see where this will be good once I have the routine down but in a way I feel ripped off because the second half is merely a rerun of the first half. (This is especially so because in a few cases in the first half they go through a routine a second time and make a big deal of showing that they are "rewinding" so you can get that bit again.)
Another flaw is that between the two halves is a segment of the dancers basically goofing around. Mostly they are dancing but again the camera doesn't show the footwork. The rest of the time they are just goofing off (for example someone offscreen is telling them to act "sexy" and so they do.) None of this is offensive, just a waste of my time and money. I'm glad I got the cheaper VHS rather than the DVD.
All in all, it's not a bad tape and probably a decent cardio workout. There is no upper body work at all. In fact, I don't think they care what you do with your upper body at all. The dancers are clearly having fun and I did too but it seems like so much more could have been done with it.

Instructor Comments:
There are five dancers, two guys and three girls, seemingly twenty-somethings (although the first teacher seems a bit older), dressed in "grunge". To go with the grunge look, the video is set in a parking garage. (I'm mildly amused by one guy who is in grunge from the knees up but wears calf-high socks and leather shoes below shorts like my 70-year-old father. I'm sure it's by necessity because they are his tap shoes but it sure looks odd.) And sorry, while the guys jokingly call themselves the "Tap N Burn studs" they come across as the guys from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. All the dancers seem friendly but professional and are all good dancers. They teach the steps well but because of the camera angles it will take a while for me to get the four routines down.

Laura B

05/13/2004