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Posts Tagged ‘Tap’

Tap Class: Happy Feet Make Me Smile

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

There’s something about cute little penguins dancing that makes me smile. If you saw the movie Happy Feet you know what I mean. The cuddly, cheerful penguin Mumble can’t sing (are penguins supposed to be able to sing?), but can dance (although not encouraged in the penguin world).  Mumble dances with joy and enthusiasm. And we smile.

I don’t tap. I don’t even dance. I lean more towards the athlete (and I use that term loosely) column than the dancer column. But I have great appreciation for the physical abilities of dancers, and I love to watch dance. As Director of Programming for the Butler Community School (BCS) I try to watch the dance classes as often as I can. Recently I watched a few tap classes. There is something exciting about the sound of metal taps on a floor; about dancing and creating music simultaneously; about the joy and enthusiasm I see on faces. Tap is a ‘feel-good’ dance; happy feet! It makes me smile.

Last week I peeked in on the BCS Kid’s Zone tap class, and also watched the teen/adult advanced tap. The other night, while watching the tappers in the BCS Musical Theatre Workshop rehearse a number from Anything Goes for the upcoming performance of Broadway in May, memories of Mitzi Gaynor and Bing Crosby came flooding back. It made me smile. The Broadway in May tappers were having the time of their lives. I had to ask them, “What makes you so happy when you tap?”

Mary Kinney takes BCS Tap classes with Danny Herman and is also enrolled in the BCS Musical Theatre Workshop. She has this to say about tap, “Tap is a fun way to get an amazing workout. I love making music with my feet! Tap is a great stress relief!”

Scout Wilkinson said, “I’ve been tapping on and off for 10 years (Which is 3/4 of my lifetime). Tap class is the highlight of my week. Danny Herman is so fun.  He always praises us, even if it’s just for trying to master a step we’re not quite skilled enough to actually do.  Even when we’re working hard it’s always okay for us to joke and laugh with each other.  I’m sure I’ll never find a tap class that I love more. Tap makes me smile.”

So come tap away your stress, get an amazing workout, have fun, smile, and make music with your happy feet!

I Love Eavesdropping

Friday, October 29th, 2010

I love eavesdropping as I walk through the halls of Ballet Austin’s Butler Dance Education Center. Well, not sure if it is really eavesdropping, as eavesdropping, according to Wikipedia, is “the act of secretly listening to the private conversation of others without their consent.”

I wouldn’t say these conversations were private. In fact, some were pretty loud and spirited. Some people even knew I was listening because they gave their unofficial consent with an occasional glance in my direction and a smile or a wave.  I smiled back somewhat nonchalantly, choosing to remain the detached observer. It reminds me of when I drove carpool when my children were younger, sitting in the front seat with the music turned low so I could hear the backseat conversation. My driver’s seat offered one of the best views of my children’s lives. My eyes on the road, my voice silent, and my ears open…I learned a lot.

Last night in the “driver’s seat” I walked through the halls of BDEC as studios emptied after Butler Community School classes were finished. As sweat poured down faces, I overheard comments about how enjoyable it is to dance, what a blast they had, how great the teacher was. Then another comment caught my attention. “That was such an amazing and intense workout, and so much fun!” Wait! Could something so fun really count as a workout?  I know better than to ask that question…of course it could!

Infectious music, encouraging teachers, learning new choreography, and the social aspect of a dance class take the rough edges off an hour of heart pumping, muscle burning, sweat inducing exercise. I kept walking, watching, and listening as scores of adults of all ages walked out of Zumba®, Broadway Fit, Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Jazz, and Modern with smiles on their faces. I love eavesdropping!

 
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