Friday I began teaching a couple of tap dance classes. New to me in the Bay Area. Tap dance is a dying art. So says anyone who occupies space in the dance world. Disheartening. I have dabbled in hip hop, clogging, and Mexican folklorico over the years. I enjoyed the different elements of each genre, but I always come back to tap. Tap is primary. You learn to walk, you take a step, and then another one. If you are Shirley Temple, you just affix metal plates to your shoes and take those same steps but this time you make noise. Okay, so even if you are not Shirley Temple you still move with those plates on your shoes. You make noise. That’s what I did when I was twenty years old. Late bloomer that I was, college dance class was calling to me. I have been tap dancing ever since.
No, tap dance is not dying. Not as long as I am around. I will concede, tap is not as popular as it once was. The ’70s saw a resurgence of tap dance…but it fell out of favor in the years since. So, last Friday I made an attempt to infuse new life. Nine adults showed up for the first class, three for the second class. I go to work on the second group. Should we all be together by May, we will celebrate National Tap Dance Day. Dance is fickle. People flake. People get distracted. Maintaining a vibrant tap dance class is dependent upon many factors. I found four men and five women in the first class. It is always encouraging to find both in a dance class. Let’s begin the revival.