Well hello to everyone,
Last week I had the pleasure of actually being in the same place for more than a few weeks – and this meant I was able to organise myself to go and take a tap class in a real live studio.
Now – to be clear here, what I mean is that I was able to go and take the tap class as a ” student in the class”. An observer and a participant, as opposed to being the teacher. And what JOY it was from start to finish.
As a tap teacher, I did feel a little trepidation going in – as I always do ha ha ha ha – with those old fears creeping in of : will I be able to pick it up? will I look foolish ? what if I can not do it? All those age old fears and worries that we all have no matter how long we have been teaching and treading the boards ha ha ha ha! But the truth is – that once you start focusing on the rhythms and steps and the class itself – pure joy just runs through your body in ever way.
And your own tapping is being rejuvenated with each and every step!
1. There is no stress of coming up with the choreography
2. You are not required to enthuse the entire class
3. You are not ” giving ” of yourself to others in that moment with 200% excess energy and enthusiasm to see what you get back from the students
4. You are not thinking of ways to get the steps across to the class
You are simply enjoying what you teach! The art of TAP!
The passion is simply re-ignited and seeing the next generation also enthused in the art-form that you love is just amazing.
In fact – while you are the student, you are giving to yourself 100% and re-filling that tank, that can so easily become depleted in your own classrooms. And you may be refilling more than you think. For it is not just a thirst for knowledge that is satiated, but I noted it was my thirst to learn, my thirst to be the receiver instead of the giver, my thirst to discover new ways of teaching and tapping and constructing a rhythm. My thirst to just be me and feed my passion for a moment.
It was pure magic on so many levels.
Sure – I took away a few new steps that I had never seen before and a few new rhythms that were really cool. But more than that, I took away that sense of awe and pride that comes with doing something new and putting your ” learning hat ” on.
And more importantly, I took away a connection to the younger tappers out there today, the next generation of musicians and artists and a reverence for the cycle of life and teaching.
It was like witnessing the ” cycle of life” in a very aware manner.
I had been the student – then the teacher – and now the student again.
And that is what keeps dancers and artists of all genres so youthful and fresh I believe. This constant willingness to learn and seek out what is new and alive and blossoming, whether it be in a classroom, a concert theatre, a stadium or a church hall.
So my advice today – is to never be afraid to put on your tap shoes and go to someone else’s class.
It can be difficult with your own teaching schedules – I know – believe me. But if you can make the time it will pay off in huge dividends with all your senses being replenished and re-booted!
So – grab a DVD with someone else’s choreography or ideas and get tapping in your free time? Sign up for a tap class with another teacher in your area? Get a group of local tap teachers together for a ” jam session ” once a week, or a weekly class where you take turns teaching the class, or sign up to attend a TAP FESTIVAL somewhere fabulous. [ Sydney, Australia actually has one coming up this April ]
It really is liberating to be the student again.
It gives you new ideas for where you can take your own rhythms and choreography and quenches the fire within to simply relax and enjoy what you love = TAP!
So – get out there and take class people!
It is FUN FUN FUN!!! 🙂
And it may just remind you why you starting teaching TAP in the first place ha ha ha ha:-)