I take great care of my customers and if you call, email, or chat you’ll always talk to me directly.
How old is United Taps? My wife (also a a tap teacher and choreographer) and I started this company in 2006 (although the website was online in 2005) to serve the needs of the greater tap community.
How long have you been tapping and who did you train with? I (Rod) started tapping when I was 9 (I'm 41) and I mainly took from Gregg Russell. I started teaching tap classes at age 14 and my teacher moved away my sophomore year in high school, so I basically taught myself after that.
What kind of shoes do you wear and why? This question comes up a lot. I currently wear a pair of Jason Samuels Smith shoes by Bloch. Previously I’ve worn Capezio K360’s, dress shoes and tennis shoes converted to tap shoes, and Capezio Tap Sneakers.
Have you been on TV or in any movies? I performed on a TV show called SoapNet with my former student Drew Tyler Bell, and I also wrote the music for the performance. I haven't been in any movies, and truth be told, I don't actually like to perform. I know that's odd for a tap dancer, but I'm just more into choreographing and teaching.
Did you do this website yourself? YES! I basically taught myself how to do it and I've switched software more times than I can remember (CoolPage, Easy Website Creator, Coffee Cup, iWeb, Freeway Pro, and Web Plus). If you go to archive.org you can do a search for unitedtaps.com and it will show you older versions of the site. I'd like to think I've come a long way.
What kind of music do you write? It's hard to describe but I liken it to soundtrack music mostly. You can go to my music pages and see samples of me tapping to the music to get an idea of what it's like.
Where do you teach? I teach at 2 Studios in Southern California. Aspire Dance Studio in Thousand Oaks and Serendipity Dance Co in Simi Valley.
Do you teach on convention or do traveling workshops? Occasionally. I did some when I was younger (L.A. Connection, Encore, 3D dance Network, L.A. Underground, L.A. Elite, etc.) but I don't love to travel so I keep them fairly limited. I also teach for Gregg Russell's Tap into the Network held in Southern California (This year there are other locations as well, though I don't believe I'll be teaching at those).
What got you interested in tap dancing? I saw Corky Pigeon tap dance on a TV show called Silver Spoons when I was a kid and told my mom I liked it. She had tap danced when she was younger (June Cassidy Dancer) and was only too happy to sign me up for classes.
Do you do custom choreography? Yes. I almost always do it by video though. Generally someone tells me what they want (song choice, difficulty level, and length) and I create it for them. Sometimes they'll provide me with a video of the kids tapping so I can better gauge their level. I do solos, duos, trios, groups, etc.
Who are your favorite tappers? The Nicholas Brothers. I love to watch them. They are such a fantastic mix of feet and showmanship.
My typical response time is less than 12 hours!
Hi, I’m Rod Howell and I own and run United Taps. I take great care of my customers and if you call, email, or chat you’ll always talk to me directly!
I’ve been teaching and choreographing tap dance for over 25 years and I apply all that experience to each one of my videos.
I’ve created choreography for everything from beauty pageants to TV and I’ve taught master classes all across the country. In short, teaching and choreographing tap dance is what I do.
I also write my own music to tap to, and design my own websites (this one included). So United Taps is very much my baby so to say. I take it seriously and I strive to make every customer happy and to give back when I can.
I really believe United Taps is teaching the world to tap dance!