Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Never Met a Shuffle I Didn't Like

I just got home from tap dance class. To say it didn't go great would be very true. To say I made my teacher's day would also be very true.

A couple of things about me -- I'm a great sight-reader on the piano. I know just enough to be dangerous, and since when you're sight-reading, there's not enough "time" to get all the notes right the first time around, I do a pretty decent job of making it sound like it's supposed to without actually doing what it IS.

I'm very good at applying the same principle to tap dancing. This certainly isn't the recommended method, and definitely not what my teacher teaches, encourages or wants out of her students. Unfortunately, it's what she gets from me. When I don't get something or get it right the first few times with exactly the steps it's supposed to be, I can do a pretty good job of faking it and making it sound the way it's supposed to. It's like sight-reading for my feet.

I also seem to have a mental block against flaps. Or to use the tap dance vernacular, fuh-lap. Shuffles (lifting the foot) appeal more to the natural athlete in me, because it means that I get to shift my weight to the other foot. A flap means I have to keep that foot there. I struggle with that concept.

The good news is that I totally made my teacher's week. I'm not even exaggerating a little bit. Those are her words, not mine. There I was, happily (and more than a little bit clumsily) shuffling and (fake-)fah-lapping across the floor, making all the right noises, when Miss R just about collapsed laughing. She said I "look like that commercial where the guy is dancing all stiff-armed but it's not really dancing at all because he doesn't know what he's doing!" Ha. Ha.

Another girl in the class immediately got the reference and general hilarity ensued. For those two at least. To be told I really didn't know what I was doing was unnecessarily pointing out the obvious. Truth be told, it would take more that to offend me these days. I was actually quite pleased that I made her laugh that hard, even if was accidental.

I came home and looked up the commercial, and any offense I may have felt is completely wiped away, because I can see why she thought I looked like this. In retrospect, I actually felt a bit like this.


If I were in a commercial as a dancer who's not really dancing.


  1. Cute commercial. I've never seen it before.
    How about this one?
    Okay, wrong dance style, but it's one that I've seen before.
    p.s. I'm proud of you for taking tap dance lessons and having fun doing it.
    p.p.s. The method you described for sight-reading and (fake) fah-lapping reminded me of how I cook, especially how I make pancakes. Half a spoonful of this and a heaping spoonful of that, and somehow it all comes out okay.

  2. Hey, she knows you pretty well...and has seen you dance!

    kidding, kidding...what are we talkin' about???