So I’m posting this clip of Fred and Ginger dancing ‘Pick Yourself Up’ a) because I know you’ll enjoy it and b) because I wanted to tell the story of how it came into my life, and what it did once there...
Some years ago, I happened upon a flyer for a tea dance. Waltz, foxtrot and swing dance it said – all things I had never tried before, but I knew straightaway I REALLY wanted to go. It didn’t seem like the kind of event that would be much fun to attend in a large group of one however, so (fully expecting a flat “No thanks”) I took it home to show to my housemates. “It says the bar will be open,” I added as I handed it to them, hoping that might convince them, but they needed little convincing. It turns out that dance fascination is rife amongst most seemingly non-dancing people.
So we went along, attempted the dances with perhaps more enthusiasm than aplomb, ate some cake and had a great time...and this fascination with vintage music and dancing was born that lead me straight to my local giant online media store, in search of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Believe it or not, I don’t think I had seen even one of their dances before, but now I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. So I picked out a single film to try: Swingtime. And it was love at first sight! But it wasn’t just the beautiful, romantic ballroom numbers that did it, nor even the gorgeous dresses; it was the tap dance numbers that caught me. I learnt to tap dance as a child, but tap in my childhood never looked this much fun...the way Fred and Ginger trip out those rhythms with such apparent ease...the way they make it look so graceful, spontaneous and playful. This was how I wanted to dance.
From there I discovered other films and dancers, my DVD collection put on a lot of weight and of course I discovered the fantastic craziness of the Busby Berkeley production number, but the moment I saw Fred and Ginger in Swingtime that was basically it for me. I HAD to take up tap dancing again, and I’ve been working ever since on making my own dancing and choreography as graceful and playful as I can. And now that I’m teaching tap dance too, I get to share my love for gracefully making a lot of noise with my feet with others and I get such a kick out of that. There is nothing quite like knowing you’ve infected someone else with tap dance fever!
If after watching this you feel a bout of tap dance fever coming on, take a look at this page to see what courses are coming up.