FEBRUARY STEP OF THE MONTH

BUILDING ONE OF MY FAVORITE PARADIDDLE COMBOS!

SINGLE PARADIDDLE

1    HEEL DIG R

e    SPANK R

&   STEP R

a    HEEL DROP R

(other rhythm patterns can include: 1,2,3,4   1&2&   1&a2)

DOUBLE PARADIDDLE

1e   HEEL DIG R, SPANK R

&a  HEEL DIG R, SPANK R

2e  STEP R, HEEL DROP R

(other rhythm patterns can include:  1,23,4,5,6  1&2&3&  1&a2&3  1e&a2&)

 

PARADIDDLE COMBO

1   STEP L

(DOUBLE PARADIDDLE)

E&   HEEL DIG  R, SPANK R

A2   HEEL DIG R,  SPANK R

E&   STEP R, HEEL DROP  R

(DOUBLE PARADIDDLE)

A3   HEEL DIG  L, SPANK L

E&   HEEL DIG  L, SPANK L

A4   STEP L, HEEL DROP L

(SINGLE PARADIDDLE)

E&A5    HEEL DIG R, SPANK R,  STEP R,  HEEL DROP R

(DOUBLE PARADIDDLE)

E&   HEEL DIG L, SPANK L

A6   HEEL DIG L,  SPANK L

E&   STEP L,  HEEL DROP L

(DOUBLE PARADIDDLE)

A7    HEEL DIG R,  SPANK R

E&   HEEL DIG R,  SPANK R

A8   STEP R,  HEEL DROP  R

Interesting facts about the Paradiddle…….

The Paradiddle is sometimes referred to as the “Paddle and Roll”.  The “Paddle” was originally Spank + Step so that makes good sense.  The Paddle and Roll is now more often: Shuffle R, Step R, Heel Drop R, Heel Dig L (5 sounds).  Louis DaPron referred to the Paddle and Roll as a “Cramp”.  (Go see the November Step of the Month to see the video of Louis’ Cramp Break #1)   The “Spank” was originally called “Brush Back” but has been changed to allow a one syllable word to represent the one sound made by the foot and to ease in notation.  So…..it just goes to show you….the terms we use for Tap have been handed down from our earlier masters and, because they were all creating regionally and basically at the same time, there is often time more than one correct name for a step.  For the sake of our current and future students we need to do the research on the most contemporary name for each step and begin to standardize our terminology.

Where did the term “Paradiddle” come from?

A paradiddle is one of the basic patterns (rudiments) of drumming, consisting of four even strokes played in the order left-right-left-left or right-left-right-right.  Go to YouTube to find lots of videos of drummers demonstrating a paradiddle.

This combo has the flavor of the legendary Buster Brown.  In keeping with my trend toward Tap History and highlighting our Tap legends, here is a picture and info I found about Buster.  Go to You Tube where you’ll find lots of footage of Buster Brown and the Copasetics.

jamesbuster_brown

This is part of his obituary (May 11, 2002|LEWIS SEGAL | LA TIMES STAFF WRITER) highlighting his life

“Buster was so smooth as a dancer, he never showed any effort,” tap historian Leonard Reed said Thursday. “Sometimes he looked like he wasn’t dancing at all, just floating in the air. He danced like silk.”

Brown, described by the Calgary (Canada) Herald in 1996 as “the small, wiry dancer with the thin mustache and two-tone tap shoes,” was born in Baltimore on May 17, 1913, and learned tap on the street.

“We taught each other,” he said in a 1992 interview with the London Sunday Telegraph. “We’d see a show at our hometown theater, the Royal, we’d see a guy on stage, do a step and we’d steal it.”

At age 16, he and two friends from Douglas High School became the Three Aces and later the Speed Kings, performing what he described as a mix of acrobatics, tap dance and jive.

As a solo tap artist, Brown toured with Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and others, but he always spoke of working with Duke Ellington as the highlight of his career.

“It was like going to heaven,” he said in a 1999 interview in the New York Amsterdam News. “He was the greatest musician to have ever lived. He played very elegantly and I looked up to him.”

Along the way, Brown became a member of the Original Hoofers performing group and the Copasetics, founded in memory of tap legend Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

And after a number of lean years for tap, when he made ends meet as a clerk in a hotel and by cleaning buildings, Brown and other aging tappers lent their dancing and teaching talents to a tap rebirth in the late 1970s.

During this new flowering of tap, Brown danced on Broadway in “Bubbling Brown Sugar” and “Black and Blue,” on film in “Tap” and “The Cotton Club,” and on television in a PBS “Gershwin Gala” and a “Dance in America” tap special. He also toured as a guest with concert tap companies through the 1990s.

Current tap phenomenon Savion Glover paid tribute to Brown’s influence in a major solo in his 1995 Broadway musical “Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk,” and Brown appeared locally with Glover in “Foot Notes–the Concert” at the Wilshire Theatre in 2000.

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2 thoughts on “FEBRUARY STEP OF THE MONTH

  1. I LOVE this!!! I taught it to my Tap II students and it sounds so AWESOME! When we got to rollin’, other folks in the studio started to gather to watch and listen and thought we were pulling off miraculous feats with our feets!

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