How to Choose Music : The Time Step Test

TimestepTestIt’s the early 90s. A warm day in Pittsburgh, PA. My mom, grandfather and I are on the back steps of his home. He smokes as I expend some extra energy running up and down the stairs alongside the house. It’s the day I first learned how to do time steps. My grandfather and mother—both dance teachers—were teaching me. “Pop-pop” took the tough love route and my mom let me get a taste of how she learned growing up.

And you know what, I haven’t stopped doing time steps since that day.

Nowadays, I know that there’s all kinds of time steps, but when trying to choose music for tap for intermediate levels and above, I’ll use a double-double or a triple-double to test new music. Based on the speed of the time steps I know whether that song might work for my tap group. Easy as that. And just because I use the time step test doesn’t meant those time steps are going in the final choreography. It’s just a baseline I use when finding just the right music.


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