One of my aims for 2012 was to take a tap dancing lesson. So far I’ve made it to three absolute beginner lessons and I have absolutely loved them!
A couple of lessons in and tap has already changed the way I think about Lindy Hop. This might sound strange but when I think about rhythms in Lindy Hop I think of visual patterns (like swinging a swivel variation) or movement patterns (step, step, triple step). I have never thought of my body as something that could make a noise to pick out a rhythm (these dance styles are alien to me).
At the end of my first class we were asked to improvise to some jazz music and I fell back into familiar jazz dance territory and moved by body as well as my feet. It took me a few goes to think about keeping my body still(ish) and using just my feet to make different sounds. The shim sham has taken on a whole new meaning for me – no longer is it a rather dull thing that I dance somewhat half heartedly – it’s a couple of minutes when I think about the rhythm my feet are making.
Unfortunately limited time and resources mean that tap is going to have to remain something that I occasionally dip in and out of but it’s been great fun so far.