Tappers Can’t Dance Anywhere

Tappers Can’t Dance Anywhere. Molly Kay Stoltz, Karla Grotting, Aleutian Calabay, Ellen Keane, Cathy Wind, Megan Wind, Jennifer Hupfer Ilse and other noise-making dance friends, I now know what you mean a more acute sense.

I decided that for my composition class Accumulation Assignment, I’d toss on my tap shoes. Simple, yes? NO. The CU dance department informed me that they have not offered tap for years because they do not have the floor for it in any of the studios. They, like me, were not thrilled about it, but have not yet made the change to accommodate tap. I could tap by myself on one of the wood floors upstairs, but I could not have a group because they would ‘do more damage.’ How much damage are we already doing by discluding tap from the training of a well-rounded dancer?

Anyway, I decided that ‘we do not have the floor for it’ was a good enough answer for me. I talked with the department production coordinator, who brainstormed with me and decided that one of the theater spaces might work. From there, I went to my advisor, who suggested I write up a letter to the faculty about why I think there should be tap, noting that I could (and would like to) teach an intro course next year. That letter is on it’s way to the faculty meeting next week 🙂

In the mean time, I will be able to show my accumulation phrase in comp class, me and just my two tap shoes on one of the upstairs studio floors. In order to be ready to show, I did have to put in a little forward work. That made me realize; how am I going to practice at home? My landlord would not even THINK of letting me tap on the wood floor. Then, my mom had it; she suggested I pull to the floor the long, cedar plank I set on top of file  cabinets to use as a desk. Brilliant!

I pulled it to the carpet floor and set to work, only to realize that I’d likely wake up or annoy my sleeping or studying roommates. I checked in with the one who was home (trying to nap), who assured me that she could hear me but didn’t mind, yet I still felt bad about it 😦   I went back into my room and shut the door again, but couldn’t get at it much longer without this nagging feeling that I shouldn’t.

So, I stopped, and brought the board out to the courtyard of my apartment complex. All was well until I heard a faint patting of ‘We Will Rock You’ drift out from an apartment nearby with a window open. Then, they started to sing! It was actually quite funny, and I even called back the ‘boom boom chick,’ with my feet. This elicited giggles, but I still felt bad. I went back to my choreographing, and heard another faint sound; ‘Shut up.’ Now, this just pissed me off. I had been having an annoying dance day as it was, having taken a ballet master class from a complete jerk earlier in the morning. The negativity of this person (who remained anonymous because he or she did not have the balls to come out and ask me to my face to be quiet) gave me an adverse reaction.

The people who had responded nicely by saying it was ok or by rhythm-playing with me made me want to quite my feet. The anonymous hater made me want to bang it out harder and louder. So what did I do? . . . . . I muted down my sound and finished my work to the point that I was satisfied enough to show it Monday, picked up my board, and headed back inside.

Last paragraph: a metaphor for life, anyone?

One thought on “Tappers Can’t Dance Anywhere

  1. I have practiced barefoot and been asked to quiet down. I tap on my steering wheel when I drive. Work on steps in the shower and otherwise save it for the studio-the appropriate studio.

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