Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tip Tap Toe

Back in the day when I took dance lessons (kindergarten through senior year, to be exact), I could never quite decide what to make of the adults in my tap and jazz classes. Was it cool that they still were getting their groove on...or was it more of a pathetic endeavor?

Well, I can now say with authority that they were cool. Really cool. What, praytell, sparked this definitive conclusion? The fact that I am one of those adults taking dance classes. This winter I decided I needed a hobby. Subbing was unfulfilling and I just didn't really have a lot going on (other than planning a plethora of weddings). I have always enjoyed tap dancing, even taking a class in college (by far my hardest one that semester) and "performing" in my service organization's variety shows at the nursing home. So it seemed natural for me to find a studio on the internet and enroll in a teen/adult tap class.

And what an appropriate description that turned out to be. The approximately 16 students in the class covered all ranges of the age spectrum. There were a few middle and high school students, a couple other girls in their 20s like me, several moms with daughters in the class, and even a handful of women in their 60s and beyond. In fact, as we were carpooling to dress rehearsal, one of the women told me that she worked for the military during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Seriously.

But I'm getting ahead of myself a little bit. I joined the class in the nick of time, as the instructor had just begun to choreograph the recital routine. That's right, we were going public. Recitals were always one of my favorite things about dance: the costumes, the hair, the (streetwalker) make-up, and the adrenaline rush of being up on stage.

Fittingly, the song our instructor chose was Tina Turner's "Proud Mary." A perfect song for a brassy bunch of women ready to shimmy. (Really--there were requests to do some sort of shimmy move from day one.) I was surprised by how many of the steps came back to me and found it quite easy to mesh into the class and routine. Plus, when you're working with, ahem, more mature students, you do a lot of reviewing along the way.

Fast forward to June and recital time. Keep in mind that when you're dancing to Tina Turner, you have to look the part. Our costumes consisted of red sequins, a black (fake) leather skirt, and fishnets. Lots and lots of fishnet. Not only did we wear fishnet stockings, but we also wore fishnet sleeves. Some of the ladies were self-conscious about having that much arm showing, if you catch my drift. Picture, if you will, 70 year-old women wearing fishnets and black leather mini-skirts... Nice mental picture, eh? (Actually, they looked darn good.)

On June 21st, I made my dancing debut with this new studio. I wriggled myself into the aforementioned costume (which Jon had to help me with because I kept getting the sequins stuck in the fishnet) and troweled on the hooker make-up. For those of you who have never performed before, all that make-up is necessary so that you show up on stage. Otherwise you look washed out. But I digress.

Jon dutifully attended the show as he very much played the part of the supportive husband by watching (perhaps suffering through) several hours of little kids dancing. But he was rewarded in the end by getting to watch his "Poptart" of a wife tap her little heart out. Just like I remembered, being up on stage was pretty exhilarating. I think the performance went well. At any rate, no one fell off the stage.


Anonymous said...

kristin i never knew this about you! classic - hidden talents of bu bees :)

jessie said...

I love this posting. You are the coolest!