Friday, May 25, 2007

Shuffle off to Buffalo!

Happy International Tap Dance Day to everyone.

International Tap Dance Day began as a brainstorm of tap dancers Carol Vaughn, Nicola Daval, and Linda Christensen. It was first marked in November 1989, when Representative John Conyers of Michigan and then-Senator Al D'Amato of New York won congressional passage of Resolution 131 declaring May 25th National Tap Dance Day. As Conyers said, "By golly, there ought to be a law to make everyone love tap dancing." The date chosen, May 25th, is the agreed-upon birthday of legendary tap pioneer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (Robinson had no birth certificate), because he was a tap dancer known and loved worldwide for his work onstage and in movies. In tap circles, he is famous for dancing on the ball of the foot, in split wooden soles, and in perfect time. Over the years, the celebration of tap-dance moved beyond American shores and now International Tap Dance Day is observed as far away as Australia, Japan, India, and Iceland.*
Really, I should be celebrating it by a public display of fancy footwork but I've been out frock shopping ALL DAY (with some success I might add) for my party, then at the pool for Climber's swimming lesson followed by the AGM at Cherub's creche. Plus the whole lack of thyroid function means I've not been operating at maximum energy so whaddya know, here I am sitting exhausted in front of the computer now, too tired to even work up a Shim-sham-shimmy. Instead I give you this [modified] meme, which has arrived at me via the published bon vivant man himself, Joke.

1. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog tap? Noise, fun, music, infectiousness (not in a germ-way, more making people want to jump up and join in because it looks and sounds so good)

2. Are you a spiritual person Fred or a Gene fan? Both. Gene for loose legs and relaxed styling, Fred for elegance and grace. Both of them have a beautiful sense of humour in their dancing which I love, and their individual stylings are almost a disguise for the pin-point precision in their technique. Also, I don't think you have to be either/or in this field and I'm not just talking Fred vs Gene or black vs white or rhythm tap vs trad. The diversity in tap is one of its charms as an artform.

3. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you want to have with you songs would you take to dance to? Big Noise from Winnetka (not sure who my version is by but it is F.A.B), Candyman (Christina Aguilera), On The Sunny Side of the Street (haven't found the perfect version yet, but I love that song).

4. What’s your favourite childhood tap memory? Meeting and learning from visiting American tap artists like Rusty Frank, Brenda Bufalina, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Jason Samuels -Smith has been wonderful. I'm also made really happy when my choreography goes over well. And also any time I'm up on stage with the shoes on.

5. Are these your first (tagging) memes pair of tap shoes? No, this is my 8th pair.

Some Random Tap Stuff.

1. Tap skills that adult beginners find most difficult to learn are : turns, balance and doing arms and legs at the same time.

2. Apparently the worst thing you can say about a pianist is that they play like a mathematician. I think the same could apply for tap. Technically adept can be dull, dull, dull.

3. The sound you hear when Fred & Ginger dance is actually Fred and his co-choreographer Hermes Pan.

4. The kind of tap taught to kids at ballet /dance schools is NOT my cup of tea AT ALL. Way too formal.

5. Reggae music is quite hard to tap to.

6. You can learn to tap at any age. I took it up at 25. (And look at me now...)

7. When I talk footwork, I mean tap footwork. I've tried other styles of dance, and when they talk about the "footwork" I try to be polite but inside, I am scoffing at them.

I'm not going to tag on this one (I'm not. You can't make me.) because I reeeeee-lly fink everyone what wanted to 'as done it. (Please read that last bit with a pathetic attempt at a Cockney accent)

* source Jane Goldberg in Dance Magazine May 2001


  1. Tap dancing makes me happy, very infectious -- in the good way. Also love your label, because I was going to ask!

  2. Cool post! Thank you for nourishing my brain.

  3. How wonderful to have found something you love AND get paid to do it! Are you hiding the Shorn Sheep until it grows back?

  4. Cherub looks like he belongs in a Botticelli portrait!

    Happy tappy day.

  5. Happy (belated) tap day!

    Great post.

  6. Don't ask me why, but Big Noise from Winetka is one of the songs that my husband sings to me. Come to think of it, he also used to sing it to our crying babies.

  7. God,the Cherub looks like one of those Little Lord Fauntleroy B&W portraits of yore.

    So sweet !

    You should take him to Sovereign Hill and dress him up ;)

  8. I'm a Ginger fan. She did everything Fred did, only backwards and in high heels.

  9. Lovely lively post! I think everyone should have a chance to dance- however badly!
    Your two children are so beautiful it makes my eyes water!

  10. do you remember teaching me????? I was a spazz but you are a fabulous teacher!!cherub looks divine!

  11. maybe you need to be stoned to tap to reggae

  12. Alberta Hunter does a marvellous version of Sunny Side of the Street.

    I'll see if I can dig it out.

  13. So if I aim at starting to learn at 40 this still should be a "do-able" thing?

  14. Happy (belated) Tap Day!

    I still say tapping should be an Olympic event...

  15. Have you seen Riverdance? Some amazing tapping there ---at least to my unschooled-in-the-finer-points-of-tap-eyes......

  16. Molly, I thought the tap-dancing was the BEST PART of Riverdance. But I would think that.


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