Canadian Tap Dancer Wins GOLD MEDAL At Dance World Cup

15 Year Old Tap Dances Circles Around World’s Best, Wins Top Prize At “Olympics Of Dance”

TORONTO, ON – When it comes to dancing, Canadians have the tap bug. Dance student  Lara Renaud wins the top medal for her tap dance solo at this year’s Dance World Cup, held this July in Whistler, BC.

“It’s an incredible accomplishment to win at this event,” says dance expert Shawn Byfield (www.ShawnByfield.com) who’s taught tap dance in Canada for over 25 years. “Countries from around the world send their top students, to compete for the gold medal. It’s just like the Olympics, but for dance.”

Byfield, who is Renaud’s Toronto tap dance teacher, says it’s not easy being a champion. Many dedicated hours, lots of sweat, early mornings, and exhausted feet discourage dancers from reaching this kind of success. But because of Renaud’s love and passion for dance, the work doesn’t dissuade her.

“She’s such a motivated dancer and always rises to a challenge. I’m so very proud of her!”

Over 8,000 dancers globally have competed at Dance World Cup. Dance World Cup is recognized by the International Dance Council, and celebrated its 10th anniversary season at Fairmont Château Whistler Resort.

“When I got off stage, many people and dancers came to say how amazing it was!” shares Lara, excited about her Gold medal win for her tap dance solo. “There were dancers from USA, Mexico, India, China, Russia, Romania, Poland, Gambia, and all Canadian Provinces and Territories.”

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Celebrate National Tap Dance Day With FREE Tap Dance Classes in Toronto

National tap dance day in Toronto with Shawn Byfield

National tap dance day in Toronto at Byfield Dance Experience

What’s the best way to celebrate Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’s birthday?

Totally FREE tap dance classes!

Saturday May 25th is National Tap Dance Day. I’m hosting FREE tap dance classes for dancers aged 16 and up, at Byfield Dance Experience, 819 Yonge Street, Toronto.

  • 4pm Dancers with lots of tap training
  • 5pm Dancers with a bit of tap training
  • 6pm Dancers with very little tap training

Limited Spots Available, CALL 416-917-1169 to Register

Also: discounts on drop-in passes and merchandise will be available that day only. Even if you’re broke, you can afford this day of awesomeness.

Pick up the phone right now, RSVP your time and get involved. Come celebrate tap dance in Toronto and around the world!

SNEAK PEEK PART 3: The Shoes Of I Think I Can

SNEAK PEEK PART 3: The Shoes Of I Think I Can

Tap Dance Shoes for I Think I Can Show

Tap Dance Shoes for I Think I Can Show

Shoes. OMG, SHOES.

So as you’ve learned, it’s a tap dance show. And we have a LOT of shoes! Each character has a signature step when entering to the stage, and their shoes are no different. Here’s what the cast of I Think I Can are rocking on their feet:

Tap shoe supplies

Tap shoe supplies

So the metal thingys on the top right? Those are metal taps made from aluminum alloy. They come in different sizes based on the shoe size and width. We’ve had to custom grind a few edges down to make them a perfect fit for our cast.

Metal screws attach to the metal plates or black fiberboard, never directly to the leather sole. The screws that come with the taps are a bit too small so our wardrobe team had sourced out screws that were slightly longer.Also, the screw head widths have to fit perfectly in the holes or they scratch the floor. NOT good. We’ve had to grind some down.

Check out the soft-shoe slide show:

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As you can see, different styles of tap shoes are featured. Newton has sport tap runner shoes, since he’s the sport junkie in the production. Frufie, well hers are blue. Because she’s cute. Notice the unusual looking pair of clown shoes and boots? They were custom made from our awesome wardrobe department for additional characters in the show…

Most of the cast tap shoes are built up- which is when you add another sole of leather to the bottom. This gives the shoe a bit more weight, which allows for a heavier sound. It also makes steps like toe stands easier to do. They all have different shoe laces to match their wardrobe.

Everyone has TWO pairs of tap shoes because they’ll be worked pretty hard over the next couple of months in Toronto (Lorraine Kimsa Theatre) and in Ottawa (National Arts Centre).

I Think I Can custom tap dance floor

The stage FLOOR is just as important. It was custom built specifically for this show, tap-dancer ready. It’s a sprung floor with a masonite wood surface. The spring gives the tap dancers a bit of cushion when they land, which helps absorb shock and impact to their ankles, knees and hips. Plus, the sound their taps make resonates better on a sprung floor.

Now you know.

Come check out the good lookin’ feet!

– Shawn B

i Think i Can dance show - Toronto Ottawa

i Think i Can dance show - Toronto Ottawa

i Think i Can

TORONTO:
Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People

April 4th – May 5th, 2011
Get TORONTO Info And Tickets

OTTAWA:
National Arts Centre

May 11th – 28th, 2011
Get OTTAWA Info And Tickets