Friday, July 19, 2013

(just keeping track)

Six dances is definitely too many. Backstage, the costume changes were insane. Feathers were flying (and occasionally missing), hair and hairspray, fringe and sequins... But it was so much fun!

During the year it was fine, taking two different classes back to back.  Granted, I the newest steps we learned in the first class I had to work really hard to retain after a second, different class, but as long as I've been tapping, my mantra has been "another 100 reps, and we'll have it down cold".

And it didn't even start that way. I was so inordinately pleased that Vicki moved me up this year.1 I took the same Intermediate class at two different times all fall, until I ended up with some extra makeup classes and picked up a B3 class. And they were doing Rockin' Robin in B3. I loved it. I wanted to do it. Immediately after class, I emailed Vicki and asked what it would take to pick up that dance as well for the show. Could I supplement with some B3 classes?

1 Right before the spring show, Vicki told me that she wasn't even sure whether I should move up but she gave me the option and figured I'd either step up or move myself back down, no harm no fowl. And then over the course of the year, the work I put into it justified the move. How cool is that!

See, my very first Spring Show2, the show opener was the All-Stars dancing to Rockin' Robin, in front of the curtain. Then the curtain opened behind the dozen All-Stars in satin jackets and there were 200 tappers in teal polos who came out and did slaps and irishes all together. Powerful. And while this was a completely reworked choreography of Rockin' Robin; it's not scaled down to B3s. In fact, it's a better dance now. And if the B3s are doing what was an All-Star dance, you can extrapolate the skill level it takes to be an All-Star4!

2 This is my fifth show with Tap Pups, and before Vicki, I never made a tap sound and was never in a recital of any kind. Not piano3, not dance, not nothing. Never took any dance classes as a kid either, although I always wanted to tap, not dance in general, but tap.
3 Mom taught me piano, but mom taught "music as a social instrument", towards sing-alongs and how to do multi-hand Chopsticks, Down at Papa Joe's, Heart & Soul, etc. And since every song in the 50's had four chords in it: C-Am-F-G, our Heart & Soul extravaganzas could go on for ages.
4 All-Star is still a goal. It's less unobtainable than it was my first show. But it's still gonna take a lot of work.
I want to point out that at my first show, the culmination of my first year with Tap Pups, Vicki gave out her last set of "most improved" awards at each level. I got one! From never tapping before, ever, there was no where to go but up, but it still hit my "make me feel special" buttons. Why did Vicki discontinue the awards? That also was the year the studio opened and the group went from 50 to 200+.

Well, if you tell God your plans, God laughs.
God has a sense of humor. And God is not in any way obliged to let us in on God's plans.

My schedule changed all around with the new year. And that's ok, but taking two Intermediate classes didn't fit in it anymore. But that B3 class that I'd pulled as a makeup? That I could work in. And hey, I could learn Rockin' Robin now for sure!

So in addition to Me and My Shadow5, the fall Intermediate dance, I had Rockin' Robin to learn. Then Vicki started dangling bear bait. One. One. One!!!!! I've already blogged about that. But I'm getting worked up about it with the mere mention of it. That's some powerful emotional recall.

5 Vicki has also previously done Me & My Shadow with the Advanced, featuring herself as "Me" and the whole Advanced level as "My Shadow". It brought the house down. Everyone loves seeing Vicki dance. So do we.

In the spring the B3s learned about 20 different Assorted 50's and 60's Dances, less than half of which made it into the show version, and the Int learned We Got the Beat, which with adjusted tempo, I always referred to as "Chipmunks got the Beat".

Then it was showtime.

2009 show: "Happiness thru Tap" - B1: Stagger Lee, New York, New York (with so many of us, we needed three pinwheels!), Boot Scootin' Boogie
2010 show: "Finding our Rhythm" - B2: Lollipop, All Shook Up; B3: Take Me Out To the Ballgame, Material Girl
2011 show: "Let Me Dance" - B3: Shake, Rattle, and Roll, Pretty Woman
2012 show: "Encore Performance: The Show" - B3: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Shake, Rattle, and Roll, Material Girl

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