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How to Execute the Falling Off the Log in Tap Dancing

Updated November 21, 2016

There are certain steps in tap dancing that are sure to be met with applause from the audience. One of these crowd-pleasing steps is called Falling Off the Log, which imitates a logger rolling a log down a river. This step is often used at the end of a routine, allowing the dancers to exit with aplomb and to applause. Read the directions below to learn one style and then watch the Expert Village video (linked to in Resources), which shows another version.

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  1. Hop onto your left foot on the count of “8.”

  2. Shuffle with your right foot on the count of “and a.”

  3. Leap onto the right foot, raising your left leg straight out and in front of the right leg on the count of “1.”

  4. Leap forward onto the left leg, throwing your right leg straight out to the right side on the count of “2.”

  5. Leap forward onto your right foot, making a quarter-turn to the left with the left leg extended to the back on the count of "3.”

  6. Note that this is a twisting motion, and you travel while doing it (perhaps off the stage).

  7. Consider another version, performed by Expert Village dancer Connie Hale. Slide your right foot back and hit your toe to the back.

  8. Repeat this on the other side.

  9. Alternate, doing it on the right and left sides. Go faster and faster, making sure to use your arms in a forward and backward sweeping motion.

  10. Tip

    This isn’t a particularly difficult step, but it looks good. You will find that there are different interpretations of dance steps, which makes the study of tap dancing all the more interesting.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tap shoes

About the Author

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.

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