Tap dancing is a huge part of my life. I see myself continuing on practicing and learning it forever. It has introduced me to many of different kinds and styles of performing. Wherever I go, I always find myself tapping my feet. Most importantly Tap has helped me to become a kinder, more mature, and more professional person. It’s almost like therapy for me. Tap Dancing is helping me develop the skills I need for the rest of my life.
I started Tap Dancing when I was 10 years old. At that time, I was very involved with musicals and I loved watching theatre. My older siblings took Tap Dancing when I was little.Then later most of my family decided to sign up for dance classes. My parents even decided they wanted to take Tap classes too. To this day they are both very happy they started. During my first year of Tap I was learning a lot, but I wasn’t really aware of how much I was acquiring. After a year of Tap classes I switched schools for a less formal more family oriented school. There I found myself falling in love with Tap. No matter where I was I had a song in my head and my feet were moving.
One of the great things about Tap Dancing is how it brings people together. Sometimes people will travel across the country just to spend an evening learning or performing together. I met a wonderful Tap dancer in Vancouver for a show once, and even though I had only talked to him a couple of times before he still invited me to come and jam with him whenever I was in Toronto. My Tap teacher is sixty-eight and has been Tap Dancing for sixty years. He is passing on a lifetime of performing experience to me. Tap dancers become life long friends.
As I have been dancing and performing over the years, I have found that the more skills I can acquire make performing easier and more enjoyable. After 3 years of doing Tap I decided to start taking Ballet classes. This idea and inspiration came from the musical, “Billy Elliot”. I knew Ballet would be something I would have to do at some point. It just has so much of the basic skills and form needed for dance. Ballet is very important for dance. Most teachers of all types of dance strongly recommend that all dancers should take Ballet. Another big part of dance is singing. I wanted to start singing after I started taking Tap and was exposed to shows like “Singing in The Rain”. For me as a dancer, as music became a big part of my life, singing became irresistible. Tap Dancing leads to so many different skills.
Tap Dancing also helps keep me physically fit. One of the best types of cardiovascular exercise comes from Tap. I believe that I can only get better at Tap Dancing and that the only way to do that is to practice. Practice leads to moving my feet and moving my feet leads to exercise! I can always learn more. Keeping fit is a big part of getting better at dancing. I regularly workout to make sure my core stays strong for Ballet. Also, swimming helps with my endurance for long Tap numbers. To stay good at dance I must stay committed to many aspects of physical fitness and education.
Tap Dancing is almost a lost art. Whenever I tell people that I Tap Dance they always get very excited because not many people Tap and are also in the film and TV business anymore. It once was the most common thing. Years ago, every movie and TV show would have people Tap Dancing and singing. What happened to actors like Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor? That is why it was so important to me to learn how to stay inspired all of the time. One day I will use my skills, like my love of Tap Dancing, to change the world. It’s the love of doing what I’m doing that matters.