Tap dance has its roots in African/Irish culture and started in the mid 1800s through minstrel shows and then vaudeville. There are two main styles of tap - Broadway tap (used in musical theatre) and rhythm tap (part of the jazz tradition).


Along with ballet and jazz, tap is a syllabus program we provide at The Academy. It is a very complex method of dance, but also one of the most rewarding. Like our jazz program, our tap dancers are provided a number of opportunities to perform in competitions and charity events through our Academy Performance Team. While younger students do one tap class per week, students from Level 3 and up do two classes a week, one technique class, and one concert/repertoire class. The two classes are required because at the senior levels, the tap syllabus becomes much more involved and there is simply not enough time in a one hour class to teach all the required tap syllabus as well as teach concert work and other required elements of the syllabus (such as body science and history).


Level 3 and up students MUST do both the technique class and the concert/repertoire class to be able to participate in the Academy concerts, or be part of the Academy Performance Team.


Syllabus study

The Academy provides detailed training in each of the core styles of classical ballet, jazz and tap. The syllabus, co-developed by the principal of The Academy, is taught in over 300 dance schools in Australia and has set learning outcomes and assessment criteria for each level.


While other dance schools in Australia offer syllabus studies, ADI is one of only a few that provide National Accreditation (Certificate I-IV) in Dance Performance. These qualifications are highly respected (and sought after) throughout Australia and overseas.


During their study, Academy students have the opportunity to take part in the assessments which are held annually in Term 3 and they receive a certificate and detailed report of their assessment.


From Level 3 up (Year 5 in school), students start to gain credits toward the VET course Certificate I-IV in Dance.


Students who study the core education program not only learn the physical & technical aspects of the dance styles but become exposed to other components including:


  • History of the Dance Style
  • Body Science (including awareness of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology & nutrition)
  • Musicality & Rhythm Training
  • Dance Vocabulary
  • Choreographic Skills
  • Stagecraft
  • Performance & Production Skills  


These skills are highly desirable and transferable for a career in dance performance, teaching or other related professional careers, including:


  • Medicine, as a dance physiotherapist, dance psychologist or sports nutritionist
  • Journalism, as a specialist in dance and/or theatre
  • Education, as a dance or physical education teacher
  • Arts administration
  • Choreography


Apart from learning to dance, there are many other life skills learned through students’ study, including teamwork, confidence and teamwork.