Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tap Dancing Fool

Did you know that I have always dreamed of being a tap dancer?


Well it is totally true. I have always dreamed of being a tap dancer.

Since I grew up in rural Oklahoma and decided to dedicate my life (i.e. one lesson) to baton twirling, I had to forgo my desire to be the next Fred Astaire and pursue the glamorous world of flinging metal bars into the air. However, I quickly learned the error of my ways and pined away for the day I could actually learn how to dance.

Well, that day finally came. After years of waiting, anticipating, dreaming, it was finally here. I was going to learn to tap dance.

 I was 27.

Along with two other friends, I signed up at the local community college for an 8-week course in tap dancing. Since I am so naturally gifted in coordination and agility (read: sarcasm) I figured I would pass this class with flying colors.

On the first day, with my extremely cheap Amazon-purchased shoes in tow and my favorite pair of black stretchy pants, I entered the room with a level of excitement that can only be rivaled when you discover a box of left-over Valentine's Day candy in the middle of March. Not that I can speak from experience, of course.

However this excitement immediately turned to dread when I noticed that the entire room was covered in mirrors. And nothing spells "healthy self-esteem" like watching your adult self try to tap dance in stretchy pants from every single angle. It was was all kinds of awkward awesomeness.

But I was living the dream. I couldn't look back now. I had finally arrived.

And then the teacher came in. She was cute, perky, in amazing shape with big, blond beautiful hair, and she actually knew how to tap dance. She was everything I wasn't. I both admired and loathed her. It was love/hate right off the bat.

So I went to work. I tried to talk my feet into doing things they had never done before, like just barely hover above the ground and tap at the speed of light. I also attempted, quite beautifully I might add, several hops, skips and jumps that were spectacular to behold. I twirled, clapped, spun, leaped, tapped, tapped and tapped until I was fairly certain I was the best tap dancer my teacher had ever seen.

And then she said something like "you need to work on your form and timing and agility and coordination and rhythm and stamina and overall ability to walk and talk."

Not exactly star student material.

But I didn't give up. I moved these routines into my parents' living room where they sat there in both awe and hysteria as I did my best to convince them that I did have talent and they had denied me the opportunity to use my raw gift for the past 27 years. They agreed that my talent was indeed raw.

Eight weeks flew by and it became blatantly obvious that my definition of "talent" was much different than my teacher's.  But what did she know? I was fairly certain that her leotard had cut off the blood supply to her head. However, I finished the class and completed an entire routine. It was a minor miracle, my friends!

Looking back I realize that I lived out my dream of becoming a tap dancer. I loved it! It was everything I thought it would be except 100,000 times harder. And it felt even better to be able to cross it off of my life list!

So, what is something you have always wanted to do?


  1. I've always wanted to go to New Zealand and be a counterterrorism analyst. We're on our way to both of those.

    Oh, and have really good shoes. :)

    - The Seester

  2. Also, I really want to do a knock-out karaoke routine, bust a move and shock all of my friends on the dance floor, have a jaw-dropping moment of romance (or a thousand or million);) and travel, travel, travel. Have my breath taken away with wonder and joy on a regular basis. :)

    Yes, I like this answer better. :)

    - The Seester.

  3. Shock and awe as I remember : )