Friday, January 13, 2012

Lullaby of Broadway

So I'm doing this show. I knew it was a dance heavy show with lots of tapping, which I haven't done in probably 20 years, but the audition notice specifically said "tapping experience helpful but not necessary" for choral parts. So I went for a choral part, and ta dah!, here I am today. I knew I would have to do some basic tapping. No problem, I tell myself. I can still shuffle-ball-change and pull off a basic time step with some refreshing.

Imagine my surprise when the choreographer starts throwing around words like "original Broadway choreography" . I stared at my feet, both of them "left."

"You're going to hate me," I tell him after the first read-through. "I..don't really tap dance."

"You will," he said simply. Tap scares the heck out of me because you really can't fake it. If you're off on the count, it's like being off on a note in a choral piece: Everyone is going to hear it. And point and laugh at you. (Okay, maybe not the last part.) At the last rehearsal he reminded us to bring our tap shoes to the first dance rehearsal.

I don't think the ones I wore when I was eight will still fit.

So tomorrow morning it's off to the local dance shop but until then I am watching YouTube videos about basic tap steps and trying to force muscle memory in a pair of character-like shoes. And of course, I have my very own chorus line to help me out.

Lesson 1: Very basic, toe-heel stepping. Mary recognizes this from her beginner dance class. (I am so ashamed.) She decides to dance with me. By that I mean making huge swooping motions with her arms and whirling like a dervish. Okay, maybe that one's for after bedtime then. Moving on to...

Lesson 2: The stamp vs. the stomp. I become concerned I am going to break Anna's foot as she insists on standing next to me and then jumping out directly in front of me just as my foot is coming down. Well, maybe I don't need to practice that one. How about...

Lesson 3: The baby realizes I am not paying her any attention and she has been left at the mercies of her father. The baby decides this is not at all acceptable. Anna is still playing chicken with my feet. Mary is still redefining "jazz hands" with her entire body. I give up. I get the baby. I decide instead to practice my music. After all, I can't dance, but I certainly can sing.

"We're in the mon-"


Of course.

Mary clumps in wearing my pink heels. Toe heel, toe heel, you never liked those totally adorable shoes anyway, did you?

"I can do it too!"

Kid, you can probably do it better at this point.

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