Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tippety Tap

There's a couple who stay at The House for a few days every month while one of them receives treatment. They used to be in show business. They worked with a lot of big names...Mitzi Gaynor, Rosie Clooney, like that. Anyshuffle, a few months ago we were talking with them and MAB mentioned that she'd taken tap lessons and loved it and one thing and another, Mr. M promised to give us both a lesson.

MAB found me a pair of tap shoes at a yard sale and we've both kept our shoes under our desks, waiting for our lesson. Yesterday was the day.

This was serious business. Mr. M wasn't going to do anything by halves. He had us standing at the railing of the back veranda, using it as a barre. He'd show us some moves, then count as we worked through them. His partner, Mr. R., stood behind offering encouragement. It was HARD! All that tappy grace you associate with the likes of Gregory Hines? That doesn't come naturally, my friends. I'd shuffle-ball-change and Mr. M would firmly say, "Keep your foot back!" or, MAB's and my particular favorite, "Lorraine, you're dancing flat footed. Don't do that!"

He taught us about 6 different moves and put them together into a little routine. We practiced for a good 30 minutes and both MAB and I were a sweaty mess by the time we were done. We promised to practice every day and on Friday we're going to have a recital. With costumes.

Mr. M was impressed with our enthusiasm but he told us that when we practice we have to do it right. "If you don't remember how to do a move then don't do it. I don't want you to learn it wrong," he said. The guy is a pro. This was not a case of "Let's play with the girls and have a little fun". He means us to be tap dancers, dammit.

He told us to think through the moves before we went to sleep. I did. And this morning the first thing I did when I got up was a shuffle-ball-change, shuffle-ball-change, shuffle, cross, hop, step. It wasn't pretty but I remembered it.

I won't be quitting my day job any time soon, but maybe, just maybe, you can teach an old dog new tricks. It helps if the trainer used to do choreography for Bob Hope.

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Blogger Anne opined...

This is SO cool!

You've inspired me!

Our county rec department offers classes, I may have to look into them. I bet my teacher won't be as good as your. May as well not even try.

October 07, 2009 8:07 AM  
Blogger Anne opined...

I'll just put these shoes back on the shelf now.

October 07, 2009 8:08 AM  
Blogger Al In The County opined...

That is awesome! How lucky for you to get this chance to learn from a pro.

October 07, 2009 8:10 AM  
Blogger Molly opined...

That is only the greatest thing I have ever heard.

October 07, 2009 8:14 AM  
Blogger Buck opined...

You know, I can really picture you as a tap dancer. You've definitely got the gams. . .

October 07, 2009 9:14 AM  
Blogger sageweb opined...

Oh I cant wait for you two to perform on the You Tube!..

October 07, 2009 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba Ha Ha Ha

So. How old is your house? As in how long has the V.A. Med. Center been offering this wonderful program?

Did you know that The Beacon Hill Presbyterian Church (which is/was right across the street from the V.A.) used to do something very similiar? Since the 70's we allowed and the V.A. encouraged certain out patients to bring a camper, motorhome or trailer and park in our parking lot while they recieved treatment.

There was always someone there and usually three or four would hook up to our electricity which we provided free via outlets on the lightpole nearest the hospital. It was not at all unusual during our prayer requess for them to raise their hands and ask for a prayer for themselves or a loved one.

Anywho to finish this story a few years ago the Presbytery grabbed our church for its property and soon after the out patients could no longer use our parking lot.

It is nice to see that they have a program established to take our place.



October 07, 2009 11:04 AM  
Blogger rosemary opined...

I have wanted to take tap lessons forever.... I did as a kid and loved it until my mom couldn't afford lessons anymore. Will there be a video? Photos at least? what kind of costumes?

October 07, 2009 11:07 AM  
Blogger Sling opined...

Totally Cool!
My feet are doing a little happy dance for you..kind of a skiff-toe-heel sorta thing. :)

October 07, 2009 12:46 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Oh, Anne, my do make me laugh.

Al, right?

Mols, kind of a big deal. At least from a 6 Degrees POV.

Buck, if only the superfantastic gams had some skillz.

You might have to wait for that, Sage. Or not.

Just celebrated our 1 year anniversary, Anonyba. Check out for more info.

Rosie, if I get even nominally good I'm going to figure out how to tap and play "Lady of Spain" on my concertina at the same time. Now THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is entertainment.

Sling, you put your left foot down flat. I only want to hear one sound. Try it again.

October 07, 2009 9:10 PM  
Blogger D.A. opined...

That's fantastic!

You HAVE to get to keep your job! The future of Hollywood musicals is at stake here!

October 08, 2009 2:51 AM  
Blogger Pamelamama opined...

FAN tastic!!

November 03, 2009 7:13 PM  

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