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I Tried It: FitTAP

An Encinitas studio transforms classical tap dancing into a calorie-torching workout


We tried FitTAP at FitTAP Studio in Encinitas. | Photo: Jay Reilly

You Try It!

FitTAP Studio
207 South El Camino Real, Encinitas
$25 per class

If you’re not familiar with the terms “shuffle,” “ball change,” and “brush flat,” you’ll get to know them quickly after taking FitTAP, a tap dancing fitness class at a boutique studio in Encinitas that offers classes in three levels. (Newcomers must start with the Basics level, and can borrow tap shoes if they don’t own any.) Upon entering, I tell the instructor, founder Sylvania Reyna, that I have zero rhythm. Her response? “You have rhythm. You just haven’t cultivated it yet!”

I lace up my shoes before stepping foot on the studio’s hardwood floors. Sylvania leads us, marching in place, gradually tapping through variations of clicking and brushing, then shuffling and kicking, clapping, and snapping. She reminds us to tighten our core, pull our shoulders back, and bellybutton into our spine. As the rest of the class breezily taps through the combinations, I’m more than a few steps behind, shuffling with the wrong foot. My accuracy is atrocious, but I’m having too much fun to care. Then suddenly I feel like a pro, as if I’ve magically transformed into a taller, sweatier, and much less charming version of Shirley Temple.

Suddenly I feel like a pro, as if I’ve magically transformed into a taller, sweatier, and much less charming version of Shirley Temple.

As a spinning enthusiast, I doubted whether FitTAP would feel like real exercise; I wasn’t expecting cardio (I even curled my hair before class). An hour later my perfectly styled coif was drenched, giving the class my sweaty stamp of approval as a calorie-burning workout. But unlike spinning or running on the treadmill, FitTAP is more than physical exercise—the routines make it a mental workout, too. FitTAP trains what stationary fitness can’t: stability, agility, and coordination—plus, it’s totally fun.

See FitTAP in action below:

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