I couldn’t think of a more clever title! Give me a break!!!!
I danced for 21 and a half years (the 22nd year ended in injury halfway through the year, and signaled my “retirement” from dance). So if you ever want to know why I write as much as I do, it’s because I was initially filling a void left behind by dance. Now it is a hobby I embrace with the love and dedication that anyone should give to their talent. I pride in referring to myself as a writer and content contributor the way I referred to myself as a “Non-Professional Hip Hop Dancer.” Now I throw “Retired” in front of that and call it a day.
Me in 1988 (age 5) in my first recital.
I studied Jazz for eleven years, Ballet for four years, and Hip Hop for six and a half years (the half year was the injury year).
I loved to perform – there was nothing quite like a costume, enough makeup to impress a clown, and a huge stage. I loved it so much, that returning as an adult at the age of 25 was like a homecoming of sorts. Sure the studio and teachers were different, but there is nothing quite like feeling in your element, no matter where you are. A dance floor is a dance floor, a ballet barre is a ballet barre, and a stage…is a stage.
The one type of dance I never got into was Tap. I did take little kid classes until I was seven years old that involved Tap, but it wasn’t something I wanted to continue. Of course, all my friends did Tap in the adult classes, and I wanted to try it, but never did. Now I’m convinced I would have been forced into retirement sooner if I did.
Just because I never tried Tap, doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it – the kicklines, the sound of the shoes (which I LOVED as a little kid), the rhythm, the sound of the shoes, the costumes, the sound of the shoes…yeah, you get my point. I loved spectating when it came to Tap. Not having a mind for it (I’m a classic over-thinker, which can be a bad thing in dance in general, but worse for Tap), and having friends who were amazing at it was what interested me more.
The other thing that interested me more? Watching professionals do it. Like Gregory Hines.
I’ll confess, I’ve never seen White Nights. I know Gregory Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov were in it, I know Lionel Richie has a song on the soundtrack (“Say You, Say Me”), and I know Hines was a Tap dancer in real life the way Baryshnikov was a Ballet dancer in real life. Oh, and they play dancers in the movie.
Would you like to see the magic happen? Hit play, and be AMAZED!
Uploaded by jbbe2
And this is where I reference David Foster.
The song playing in the background is the David Foster-composed “Tap Dance,” and it is on Foster’s 1986 album…David Foster. I’m sorry guys, I’m striking out with all kinds of non surprises.
I love the “It’s-So-1980s” appeal of this song. It’s like aerobics and tap dance got together, had a child, and raised up that child up right. Did I mention David Foster is a genius? Because he is the one that made this song happen.
Sadly, I can’t find a music video to back this song up (because let’s face it, David Foster must have felt the music with the song!), but why have a music video when you can have Gregory Hines tapping? That’s even better!
I especially love the dancing in this scene. Hines moves about the floor gracefully, all the while stomping with the glorious sound of taps. His was a talent lost with his passing, but thankfully is very well-preserved, based on what I found on You Tube. Every dancer should strive for so much! It seems that the dance world tends to get lost in the current trend of Hip Hop, but sometimes, the classics work well. And those who strive to preserve this art are keeping it alive and well!
The version heard in the movie has more tap sounds in it than the actual song does, so if you REALLY want to hear this song in all the glory it intends to have, here it is.
Uploaded by David Foster – Topic
Allison isn’t a world-class dancer, but she knows her stuff. She loves writing about David Foster (easily her favorite composer). If you like what you’ve seen here, she’d love for you to visit her on her blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can follow her blog on Facebook, and her on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut. Ironically, her Twitter handle used to be @DancerChick1982.
She’s like Kevin Bacon in Footloose – she’s gotta dance!