THE PADDLE AND ROLL and an extra Thanksgiving surprise….THE LOUIS DAPRON CRAMP BREAK #1

This step has a long and rich history in the world of Tap.

Spank + Step was originally known as a “Paddle”.  (I found it listed in my Grandmother’s Tap Correspondence Course from the 1930’s)

When an another Step is added to he end it is usually called the Paddle Step (or Bombershay) and can travel sideways or turn to the outside. (Spank R, Step R, Step L)

The Paddle and Roll contains a Spank + Step and has the rolling quality found in the cramproll.

a1   Shuffle R (Brush + Spank)

&   Step R

a   Heel Drop R

2   Heel Dig L



The Heel Dig can easily be replaced with a Stomp for more accent.


Now, because it’s Thanksgiving time and I’m truly thankful for all the wonderful Tap teachers I have had over the years…especially Tom Ralabate for sharing this little jewel with me ….here’s a great way to use the Paddle and Roll.   Try it with two Flaps before it and you have the first of the Louis DaPron Cramp Breaks.  (There are five total)  It fits well into choreography and is a great cross-floor exercise!

a1 a2        Flap R, Flap L

a3&a4     Shuffle R, Step R, Heel Drop R, Heel Dig L



Louis DaPron was born in my home state of Indiana the day before Valentines Day in 1913.  He died at the age of 74 in 1987 in Agoura, California.

His parents were dance teachers.

He assisted with many films as the dance director at Paramount and eventually choreographed for Ruby Keeler.

He was head choreographed for Universal Studios responsible for most of Donald O’Connor’s choreography. He also choreographed for the Colgate Comedy Hour.

DaPron taught and/or staged acts for Gower Champion, Perry Como, Doris Day, Roland Dupree, Vera-Ellen, Judy Garland, Mitzi Gaynor, Bob Hope, Ruby Keeler, Jerry Lewis, Ann-Margaret, Ann Miller, and Gingers Rogers.

I encourage you to You Tube Louis DaPron and see him perform.  His early student, Rusty Frank has a DVD available on Amazon with some of his work.

Louis DaPron

Louis DaPron



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