One can’t just keep getting older and fatter forever. But consider my situation. Throughout the 90s in London I danced ballroom and Latin American dance with a range of fabulous followers up to six evenings a week. I had rehearsals when I was performing, both group and private lessons, and then lots of tea-dances and balls. Despite my lust to lead, I have not been able to replicate that in the States.
For the last decade or so until the start of this Spring I was teaching fitness twice a week. Now that I’m not teaching, I no longer have a workout schedule. My bike-riding aspirations have too often been scuppered by the collective dodgy knees, shoulders, feet, etc, of my bike partner Judy and myself. We seem to take turns being out of commission.
So my buddy Mary and I decided to sign up for Tap Dance lessons via the well-reputed The Dance Inn, held in the basement of the Regent Theatre just a couple of blocks from my home. We bought shoes and set off for our weekly lesson: what could go wrong? I was certain that Tap, which I haven’t studied since my age moved into double-digits, would be just the right discipline. It’s so cool and I’m so cool. I’m a good dancer, pick things up quickly, and I could just transfer the suavity I developed from Latin dancing to the Tap.
I never caught the cool. I’m more gallumping than gliding. The necessity to remain on the balls of the feet a lot causes my several problematic toes to object. Trying to learn this thing with a once weekly lesson doesn’t fly. I need immersion but that’s not the nature of the course.
Our teacher, Shannon, is a very good-natured, non-judgmental, and skilled instructor. (That’s her in the middle of Mary and me.) She doesn’t scold if you arrive late or if you skip a class or if you fail to get a step – in direct contrast to how I behave as a teacher. The music is familiar to me from Ballroom dance, but I just can’t get that feeling of being in the groove like I do with the cha-cha or jive. I fear that learning Tap is going to be like learning Spanish was back in the days when I was in high school and college – that I’ll be taking the beginners course over and over and over. Unfortunately, these 10 lessons did not turn me into this: