April 4, 2012

When I was invited to Denise’s birthday party we were given an address and told to bring a thin pair of socks. Okay, I did Google the location, but I didn’t know anything beyond that.

So as I walked up the steep stairs of the Dance Studio located at 7757 Edmonds Street in Burnaby, I reflected that I had never taken dance lessons as a kid, but I must admit, I am addicted to a certain ballroom dancing show on TV (don’t tell anyone). I was the first to arrive and the receptionist told me that I’d be fitted for a pair of tap shoes. Wow. I’m going be break out in song and flick my taps like the Broadway stars! I was excited only because I knew I’d be with a group of women I’d feel comfortable doing this with.

Once our party arrived and with our tap shoes on we clomped into one of the studio rooms and lined up in front of the mirrored wall. Barb, Denise’s friend since her childhood dance days, was our instructor. Even after a full day of teaching she still had the energy and exuberance to take us through a series of moves, broken down step by step.Everyone had their own technique as we swung our hips and hit the floor with our shoes as we watched Barb through the mirror as well as the line of rhinestones on the back of her right tap shoe – obviously there for newbies to know to follow the correct foot. With the odd grunt, gasp, and laugh we seemed to be in sync because if your not the sound of a solo tap will hang in the air.

Just putting the finishing touches on the final number and then taking it on the road

At one point Barb turns around to face us. “Someone actually hit their tap to get that sound. Did you hear it?” We all began to recreate the sound by slamming down the metal part of our shoes. There was obviously something wrong with my taps because it wasn’t working.

As I worked my way through each piece, my jeans clung more and more to my thighs.

“How long is the whole song?” Denise asked.

Barb checks the CD. “Two minutes.” She says.

“Hey maybe we can dance the whole number.” Someone shouts out from the back as everyone agrees.

“Do you want to know how much of the song we’ve worked through?” We all yell out a resounding yes and wait as Barb checks the sound system.

“Okay, we’ve choreographed 25 seconds.” Screams of laughter all around. We did the full hour though likely making it through at least 30 seconds.

Some people wanted to remain anonymous for this blog; others didn’t mind going global, so I thought I’d pass out a few awards to each dancer:
  • Clelie for the best skirt twirl.
  • Denise for the best resurrection of dance skills.
  • Teresa for the best effort.
  • Hailia for best tap (and most experienced with three years of tap lessons).
  • Anonymous for most graceful (you know who you are!).
  • Our lovely dance teacher Barb for best instruction and most patience.
  • Me? I laughed and had fun and felt for a moment as if I was putting the finishing touches on a few moves before being filmed for a cameo in Smash.
A few of us had so much fun that we are going to do it again. Watch out Anna, Maxim, and Karina, I’ll soon be competing with you for that coveted pro position.













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