Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tapping to My Own Drummer

NaBloPoMo January 2014  
When I started college, wa-a-a-ay back in 1979 (how many of you, I wonder, are saying, "Gee, I wasn't even born then!" *lol*)  I was a Musical Theatre Major-Acting Emphasis.  One term I had ballet, tap and jazz dance at the same time.

I was actually fairly thin until puberty hit and when it did, it hit the fan as well.  I have struggled with my weight since then.  Add to that the fact that my ankles have never been particularly strong and all those dance classes (with about 50% dance majors) could be very intimidating at times.  The ballet class wasn't too bad.  The instructor was helpful and understanding...except on Mondays, when she turned into the "stretch Nazi".

The tap class was a different story.  The instructor was a choreographer and was known for his hard critique of people's performances.  At one point in each class session, we would do a certain tap step in groups of four from one corner of the room to the other.

One day he demonstrated a combination of steps he wanted the class to do.  The first group did the right movements, but on the wrong count (flapping when they were supposed to be shuffling, or something like that).  The second quartet followed suit, as did each group that followed.  Maybe it was the math side of my brain, but I noticed that it wasn't as the instructor had demonstrated.

With each passing moment until my group got to the front of the line, I waffled between "I'm going to do the steps correctly,"  to "Everyone will think I'm stupid, I'll just follow the crowd," and back again.  

When the last group had gone across the floor and we were all back in line again, the instructor stopped the music and looked at the class. "There was one student who did the steps correctly," he said.  I'm not sure if he was more shocked that a non-dance major of questionable grace and agility got the step right, or that she had the gumption to do it differently from everyone else.  Or maybe I ruined his ability to yell at the whole class.  (I'm going for one of the former options, though.)

That was a good day.

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