Perverts! Why are you reading my post about spanks and flaps? So what if this is what I do in my spare time, does it have to be shared on the internet? Yes, yes it does. Because I'm talking about tap dancing. I am re-learning how to flap and spank (a backward flap if you must know) and shuffle and perfect those tricky time steps. It's been more than a decade since I found myself in a tap class, sweating, concentrating and having the best time ever.
I spent a majority of my youth dancing at Carol Leone's in Moon Township. That's not an exaggeration. Let's try to figure this out. I started at age 3 and stopped at 17. For the last six years, I spent about twelve hours a week either in tap, ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical or pointe class. Six years times 12 hours times 40 weeks a year.... 2880 hours just in the later years, approximately 120 days. That's quite obsessive considering it wasn't a competitive sport.
But, after graduating high school and moving on to college, where things were either too serious or too rudimentary - I took up ballroom dancing. My boyfriend at the time joined the Penn State Ballroom Dance Team with me and we actually started to compete. Yeah, the competitions attracted a lot of nerds, but I had a great time. There was even a blue ribbon for beginner Rhumba, but you know - it's not all about the ribbons! :)
The catalyst that brought me back to Carol Leone's is Ayla - she is 3 years old and I wanted to see if dance would be her thing. I have enrolled her in the creative movement and gymnastics there and so far she has chosen to "sit on the bench and relax" instead of jumping around in circles with the other little girls. I help with her class, so I don't mind - I still get to wear my ballet shoes and dance to the Locomotion.
I have such ridiculously fond memories of dancing with my friends at Carol's. We carried our obnoxious tendencies into the studio and would yell every time the teacher would say our chosen word of the day, or do all the warm-ups backwards on the bar. One friend, who I won't incriminate, always farted during the "serious" stretches and I still crack up every time I think about it. We were never made to feel badly about our bodies (or at least I didn't) - it wasn't that type of dance environment. We had fabulous teachers who dedicated hours of their lives teaching us correct posture and rewinding videos to perfectly dissect a music video.
And while Ayla is warming up to the idea of dancing, I'm going to take advantage of the adult tap class. It is taught by the first dance teacher I ever had, she was great in 1983 and I'm appreciating her on a new level as an adult. Our tap class was great tonight, ranging from a few girls just out of college to some pretty rockin' older ladies. The muscle memory is bringing me back to place where I can jump across the floor with taps on my shoes, thinking "toe, heel, step, dig, repeat!"
Are you thinking it can't get any better? We tapped to Michael Jackson - all my dreams are coming true.