I've been teaching tap to grown-ups for a long time now, but I didn't start teaching tap-dance to children until my firstborn was 4 years old. The desire to teach children arrived only after I'd borne children of my own and really wanted them to tap, but the impetus to actually do it came from a couple of my friends, who supported and encouraged me to set up what is now probably the more successful arm of my business.
This picture was taken at the first ever Miss Caroline Tap Dance Kiddie Class. I had 4 students in all, one of whom was my own Climber, resplendent in his Mr Incredible dress-up. They were all 4 years old. The two little girls you see here are Squeaky (the blonde) and Pea, and they are the offspring of two of my best friends, Jenny and Astrid from Mothers Group. These three tiny tappers first 'met' in a Maternal Child Health Centre when they were 6 weeks old and barely able to lift their own heads, so I think I can safely say that they have been friends their whole lives.
They are nearly 10 years old now, still close friends, still completely at ease with each other way in a way that makes my heart swell. I can't tell you how much I hope that their beautiful friendship continues on through their teen years and beyond.
It makes me very happy that they are still tapping together. This is how they looked on the weekend, nearly 6 years on since their first class, recognisably the same, just taller, and doing much harder stuff with their feet...
And let's not forget their younger siblings, who were also central to the tale of the Miss Caroline Kids' Classes story. There came a day when they too were big enough to dance, but not quite big enough to join the original class, who were by this stage older and capable of trickier tapping. So this photo shows the moment when my school started running two Kid Tap classes, one for school-aged children and one for pre-schoolers. I love this photo of them, so excited to be doing what they'd watched the bigger kids doing all those years: Squeaky's sister BP, my own Cherub and Pea's sister Roo. These three are great friends too.
This was them doing their own special number on the weekend: Happy Feet. (Excuse my cheesy grin there, it is part of the choreography.) They were great.
These days I run four, count 'em, four Childrens Tap Classes and no longer rely solely on my friends to fill the enrolments. (Although the third-borns of both Jenny and Astrid dance in the younger classes.) I always enjoyed teaching adults and had reservations about whether training kids would be as rewarding -all that crowd control!- but I absolutely love teaching the children. I am blessed with exceptionally nice students and the joy from working with them every Saturday is only matched by the pride I feel as I see them develop. The weekend's performance at Station Street really brought that home to me, with every single one of my gorgeous students, but maybe especially for these six tappers who have been with me from the start: Squeaky, Climber, Pea, BP, Cherub and Roo, you rock xx
For ANZAC Day this is so beautiful and tender
6 hours ago