50 Weeks to 50: Foot Percussion

50 Weeks to 50: Foot Percussion

One of my favourite activities growing up was tap. For as long as I can remember, when I wait in line or am nervous about something, I tap. Over the years my repertoire of steps has dwindled to a handful.

I never thought I’d find others who would like to do the same until I was nervous tapping one day and someone mentioned a friend who took a class nearby. I began researching and did a summer camp to find my tap level. I tried a beginners class but it was clear that my 12 years of tap as a child was still in me. Cue Travis Knights and my Wednesday night intermediate class. Most people would say Friday or Saturday are their favourite nights of the week. Mine is Wednesday. I come home sore and smiling and flop into a hot bath to ward off the swollen tootsies. I’m having a blast! I am far from getting every step, but when I do, I’m crazy proud of myself. You see, tap has changed in 33 years… most things have. It is syncopated rhythms and starting on the downbeats and much closer to the ground than it ever was when I was a kid. There is a lot of learning and practice, but it is always fun even when it is frustrating.

It wasn’t until after our recital that I fully realized how phenomenal our choreographer is. Sure, some of the ladies had actual dreams of doing his choreography, and I thought he was fabulous, but that seemed extreme. But Daphne saw him at my recital and wondered if I had met THE Travis Knights. She takes tap and has a working knowledge of tap culture. I told her that he was my choreographer and she was actually excited. To be clear, that means she smiled and didn’t roll her eyes. That’s good. When I look back on my tap class so far, I might add a touch of reverence to my interactions with Travis from now on as I’m going to be spending more time there because I’m a tap addict. It’s a thing…

 

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Comments

  1. Hop, two taps, change, brush out, stamp, stamp. That’s pretty much all I remember from the Times Step – the basics for tap dancing when I took it for about 6 years, MANY decades ago. You looked terrific. How long did the routine take to learn?

  2. Nah. Your arms are doing the classic tap dance movements. Look at an old Fred Astaire movie, he does that all the time. In fact, I wonder why the rest of your dancers didn’t do it. Did your teacher give instructions on what to do with your arms? That part is usually choreographed as well as the dance steps. I have to say, I can’t picture a flap step though. And what was it called when you bent your leg and slapped your foot? Kind of looked like a reversed “buffalo step”.

  3. Use Your Thinkball : December 16, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    My cartilage hurts just watching this. You rock so hard.

  4. You inspire me!

  5. That’s some fancy footwork. Honestly I didn’t notice your arms until the caption popped up because I was watching your feet and how in step you were with the other dancers. And it’s really cool that for your 50 To 50 you’re not limiting yourself to one-off activities but doing some long-term things too.
    Also I want Mr. Knights’ t-shirt. Or rather one like it. I’d never take the shirt off someone’s back. Or front.
    And next time you perform as an elf break an ear.
    Christopher recently posted…Lights Out.My Profile

  6. You were awesome! Only talent I have is to shake my leg up and down while I am sitting. I don’t think they offer classes in that though. It’s always nice to be put on a spectrum, just be wary of the ones that offer to put you on a speculum. 🙂
    Arionis recently posted…I’m Officially Old NowMy Profile

    • I have had my run-ins with the speculum and I’m not a fan. I just read up on the instrument and it was designed by a slave owner/gynaecologist who wanted to examine his female slaves more closely. Hmmm. Not sure how to feel about that one.
      Keep up the shaking btw. It scares people off from talking to you when you are just hanging out in thought. Not that I’ve had any personal experience or anything…

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