Thursday, January 26, 2017

On being a beginnner...

On Monday, I took my first ever tap class.  I have always wanted to take tap dancing.  Each time I see tap in a movie, it reminds me I want to take tap.  I saw La La Land before Christmas.  I wasn't crazy about it, but I loved the tap, so I signed up.  It is an 8 week course, right in my town, so it is convenient.  I invited all my friends, just in case they have always wanted to learn how to tap.

It's so weird to be a brand new beginner again.  I love it.  It's just different.  It reminded me of this poster I have in my classroom:

There are 9 people and one teacher.  I am watching everything she does and asking lots of questions.  I was starting flat-footed and noticed she was not really ever on her heels, so I asked.  I had to pay close attention to everything, including the sounds.  She would say, "This combination should have 4 steps so four sounds."  I thought the class was for beginners but apparently it isn't.  I would say 4 of us are brand new and 5 have had at least one class before.  I felt a little bad for the ones who have had it before because I didn't want them to be bored, but I also didn't want us to go too fast.  We started with the basics - tap your right toe 16 times, then 8 times, then 4 times, then 2 times and 2 times again, then out to the side, then your left foot and repeat.  I am trying to get every step exactly correct so I can train my brain to do it the right way and not have to make corrections later on. 

She was telling us the weird names to each step too - oh, vocabulary.  I was trying to remember what the name was, what the steps were, and what they should sound like.  It was a lot to digest. 

I am able to laugh at myself when I mess up and I think that is good to keep away my frustration.

We did some steps across the room in pairs so we could hear better.  One student remarked it wasn't like in band and playing an instrument where you can fake it until you make it.  You can't fake it.

I was starting to get it going across the room and then she said we could add our arms.  I gave it a try but I wasn't ready.  I still needed to focus on my feet.

The next day, I pulled up some videos on youtube and watched basic steps and learned one longer combination.  I just kept playing it over and over and over.  I love that I can do this.  I want to keep practicing.  There was a video on youtube with the La La Land dance.  I tried it, nope, not possible after 1 tap lesson.

But, I am doing it, I am enjoying it.  I love learning and I am game for anything.

Tap, tap, tap!

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