Let’s talk Weight Changes!

I have students that come to class and they do a pretty good job of learning basic technique but they struggle with their weight changes. This makes it hard for them to learn choreography and move on to more challenging exercises.

We’ll be working on a dance or an exercise and a student might raise their hand to ask a question and say something like, “I don’t get it.” What I find is that they actually do get it most of the time. They get that they need to do a flap and then a shuffle and then there’s a ball change, for example. It’s just that they can’t get through the step because they struggle with the weight changes. When your weight is in the wrong place and the wrong foot is available your dancing experience ends quickly because you can’t continue on to the next thing!

This problem is to be expected with some students because they may be an adult who has lived their entire life without asking their body to do much that takes physical coordination. Or maybe they are a young kid who doesn’t yet have complete control over their own body (picture a pony figuring out how to walk). It’s normal that some people would really struggle with weight changes.

This is why I work on little dances with my students just to work on weight changes. I do this with all of my beginning classes but I also do these types of combinations from time to time with my intermediate and advanced students, too. I’m always sure to use lots of different types of notes all mixed together (1/4 notes, 1/8 notes, triplets, for example) and different feels (straight and swing, for example) so our weight change dance can also double as a discussion of music!

The video in this blog is the little teaser video for a course on Weight Changes in the la Technique category of Tap Academy Online. This is an actual dance that I’ve been doing this year with all of my students and I hope you enjoy working on it.

Please write if you have a comment, view, opinion. I’d love to hear it.

In the meantime, happy tapping and I’ll post again soon!


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