Alexis Juliano with the new Tapsonic® tap shoes.
Have you heard about the latest tap shoe set to revolutionize the dance form? If not, introducing Capezio’s Tapsonic®! This new tap shoe, fashioned by Capezio designer Chang-yen Tsai, was unveiled in July at the West Coast dance festival DancerPalooza. Tap dancers and teachers alike are now eagerly awaiting its release in stores before year end.
Capezio Athletes and dance professionals Curtis Holland, Alexis Juliano, Sophia Lucia and Aaron Turner have modeled the new Capezio Tapsonic® design behind the scenes in the lead up to the shoe’s release. Dance Informa recently caught up with them to hear their first impressions of the shoe and what makes the design so unique.
Former So You Think You Can Dance finalist Curtis Holland, a tap dancer who received the gold medal in the dance division of the national 2012 NAACP ACT-SO Competition, first tried out the Capezio Tapsonic® shoes right before he performed in them at the Capezio A.C.E. Awards in New York in early August. He said they were surprisingly easy to break in.
Aaron Turner models the new Tapsonic® tap shoes.
“The Tapsonic® tap shoes are an inventive and original take on a standard tap shoe. When I first saw the shoe, I was excited by the sleek design of the [aluminum] heel against the dual fabric design of the shoe itself,” Holland said.
One of the reasons the Tapsonic® shoe is truly a standout is that it is the first to have a hollow, high-grade aluminum heel. The heel is also designed with cutouts that sound can escape from, which helps to amplify the beats.
“Unlike the K360s, the Tapsonic® has a hollow heel, giving it a deeper and richer sound,” Holland noted. “The heel is also interchangeable, allowing ‘special effects’ to go into the heel (i.e. lights, smoke, coins) for additional sound and visuals.”
Heels will be sold separately in different weights and materials, which will allow dancers to change the tone and pitch of their shoes.
To Alexis Juliano, former SYTYCD finalist and three-time Tap Olympics gold medalist, the Capezio’s Tapsonic® shoe is “the future of tap shoes.” She said, “The design, feel, sound… just everything about it is nothing like ever before. My first impression of the shoe was how sick the heel was. I was so excited to try them out and see what they sounded like.”
Juliano, who performed in the shoes alongside Holland at the Capezio A.C.E. Awards, also had a photo and video shoot with Capezio in August to promote the Tapsonic® shoe.
Sophia Lucia is impressed by Tapsonic®
“It was a lot of fun! We went to different iconic locations around New York City, like Central Park, Radio City, Rockefeller Center and Lincoln Center, and just tap danced. It can’t get any better than that,” she exclaimed.
Holland also participated in a promotional video and photo shoot at various New York City landmarks like Penn Station. On the other hand, tapper Aaron Turner, the beloved runner-up of SYTYCD Season 10, hit the streets of Las Vegas to model the shoes. He said working with photographer Jerry Metellus and his team on the strip and on location at Vegas landmarks was “amazing.”
While Turner is a self-professed “die hard fan” of Capezio’s K360 tap shoes, he too was impressed with Tapsonic®. “The Tapsonic® shoe is a breath of fresh air in both physical appearance and sound,” he said.
When asked what makes the shoe feel different from other classic taps in performance, Turner said it’s “the way the new taps wrap around the toe of the shoe, bringing a totally different element to tapping, specifically with toe work or toe stands.”
Competitive teen dance star Sophia Lucia shared the other dancers’ enthusiasm for the new shoes. She said, “I recently got the new Tapsonic® shoes from Capezio and I love how new and innovative they are. I believe they are made with great quality.”
Lucia, Turner and Holland all agree that they can’t wait for the official shoes to be released in stores. They all are thrilled to perform and teach in them. Juliano said she plans on teaching in hers at Dancers Inc., perhaps as early as mid-October at the Secaucus, New Jersey event.
The stylish look of Tapsonic®.
Overall, all the dancers concur that the Tapsonic® shoe has the potential to completely transform the tap scene.
“There aren’t any other shoes quite like these. The things that can be done with these shoes are incredible,” said Juliano.
Holland agreed, saying, “I believe that these shoes can bring a more 3D and relatable aspect to the tap scene. By being able to add effects to the heel of the shoe, dancers have more room to create and explore new themes to add an element of storytelling to tap.”
“Anything that is drawing attention to tap dancing is a GREAT thing!” added Turner.
By Chelsea Thomas of Dance Informa.