Today I was an idiot. Actually, no, it was 4 of us and a misunderstanding. I left work with plenty of time to get to my tap class, then saw my friend R from Wednesday evening tap class was waiting to go in. We hadn’t seen each other since July, so we were chatting away catching up on things. It turns out she did get to go to the Rambert workshop in July, but she went to day 2 of 2 (I went to day 1). I think she must have danced with most of the people I danced with on the Monday as most of them were doing both days. She enjoyed it as much as I did and also felt, as I did, that the yoga at the end of the day was a bit too advanced! Anyway, after a while I tuned into the fact music had been playing for a little while, looked in and realised the class had started! Two other girls from the class had been chatting as well, so we all scurried in together and realised we had missed 10 minutes!!!
Anyway, our teacher explained that everyone who was in level 1 had stayed on for level 2, so I guess the four of us outside the studio were waiting for people to exit, alerting us to the fact we could go in, but no-one did! So we missed the warmup 😬 She also said it felt like a strange atmosphere. I think because of that weirdness at the beginning. I think we soon shook that off.
We did a couple of exercises and got straight into the Cornflake Girl routine, which I have been practicing and studying all week. I have come to the conclusion that I work better under pressure in dance. I actually felt like I was ON IT today! No lazy hesitant left foot. Did some quick alternating side shuffles which feature in our routine and I think it was the first time I’ve actually done them evenly! But my teacher did pull me up on my cat claw toes, which is my trademark. I think it helped doing the shuffles with the two newer girls who tapped as kids. They knew what they were doing so I just went with their speed. Fun!
Learnt a rhythm turn which seemed complicated, but it’s really not. Not until you try to do it on the left… It just takes practice.
The routine is brilliant, probably my favourite so far after the heel drop heavy I’m only Human After All routine. Challenging, complex, creative!
This weekend I’m going to start reading my new book about the Jazz Tap of the Nicholas Brothers!
I am so annoyed that I had bail out and go home early last night instead of going to my final Wednesday evening Tap 1&2 classes. Basically, I was kept awake most of the night by a neighbour and was like the walking dead most of the day, just surviving a day at work on Lattes. But, I am also glad I listened to my body (and hollow dead eyes) and went home, had homemade Goan prawn & egg curry with rice, broccoli and kale, stretched, showered and rested so that I could drag myself into London today and go to my lunchtime level 2 class.
A colleague of mine was talking non-stop and I ended up being pushed for time, so I literally got to the college with about 5 minutes to spare and was puffing and panting and quite warm from power-walking and sunshine, with no time to stretch or really cool down. Then my teacher came out of the studio and said “it’s really hot in there”. Oh great!
Yes friends, it was like a sauna. Someone even called it ‘Bikram Tap’…
We did some co-ordination and pick-up exercises, which are always good to get your teeth into, got some posture correction and noticed the shift in weight placement which is always good, and then we spent the last 15 minutes on our Rag n’ Bone Man routine, which I’m loving. For some reason I can remember every step; usually I struggle to remember anything!
It is quite hard to do really even shuffles when you’ve been enjoying the swingbeat. On a positive note, I am no longer clawing my toes when I do pick-ups!
Next week is the last Thursday lunchtime class before Easter. Then we’re back the week of the 24th April. I haven’t booked onto Thursday lunchtime next term, even though I prefer it. It’s a bit of a squeeze to fit everything in during the lunch hour, so I’ll stick to Wednesday after the hols.
I also have the week of Easter Monday off work. Yay!
Yesterday afternoon, just before I left work to head for a coffee before Tap, I heard from a colleague that something bad was going down on Westminster Bridge. We checked out BBC News website and saw that something really bad had happened on the bridge and by the Houses of Parliament. I can see Big Ben from my desk, and looking out I realised there were lots of helicopters in the air. I was a bit concerned about heading down to Morley College…which is on Westminster Bridge Road…but not too close, and I went anyway. The walk down from the Elephant to Lambeth North was disconcerting because there were so many ambulance and police vehicle sirens as they tried to get through the traffic towards the incident site. There was a police cordon right outside the coffee shop I normally go to, and police were redirecting traffic, so I gave up trying to cross the road and just went into Morley College early and had a breather. The presence of so many visible police officers was reassuring, despite the alarming circumstances.
It had also been pretty chilly outside, so I was doubly glad to get indoors (as usual, the college was a bit too warm).
Both level 1 and level 2 classes were down on numbers unsurprisingly, but it was still a fun evening. We did some exercises with flaps, shunts, and cramp rolls, which really made my feet ache! We also did an exercise with a four-beat paddle with an extra heel in-between and then we changed it for an extra toe tap in-between (uh-oh). At first I was thrown as my natural inclination was to do the heel when I was supposed to be doing the toe tap, but then I realised it was all about where your weight is placed. This is a common theme in tap!
We seemed to have an issue with rhythm in the 2nd class. It was as though everyone kept speeding up and getting louder! ARGH
Anyway, it was great to perform the routines a few times all the way through. We have a week left to add a tiny bit more on, I believe!
I also went to level 2 at lunchtime today to get extra practice, SO glad that I trimmed my toenails last night…
I’m really glad that those of us who could, kept on tapping and didn’t let evil win.
I also want to ‘big-up’ the amazing emergency services.
Yesterday I schlepped along to Covent Garden to my final class of the 12 week Ballet at the Barre course. I was so tired and a bit stressed from a lot of restructure chaos at work that I wasn’t in the mood for physical exertion, concentration or recalling stuff from last week, but I got there and REALLY ENJOYED IT. There were only 6 or 7 of us, plus our teacher and it was a great class! I decided on my way there to throw myself into it. Remember turnout, engaged core, toes pointed, use the floor, pull up….Dance!
Along with a fellow classmate, I got to perform a sequence on demi-pointe! OMG.
At the end we had time to stretch and fill out our course evaluations. I spoke to my teacher individually and he asked what I was intending to do next. He recommended Ballet Improvers, which I would love to do, but it finishes too late for my one hour journey home to the suburbs afterwards. He also asked if I’ve ever done any Jazz! A little bit, but I’d LOVE to do more. Anyway, he said I can try out the brand new Street Jazz course for free in July if I’m interested, and then that will run properly in September.
I’m really confused because I promised myself I would return to Rhythm Tap at Morley in September (and I’m obsessing over getting those Jason Samuels Smith shoes), but now I don’t want to stop Ballet, but Improvers Ballet at City Lit is too late, and then there’s a new Afro-Contemporary course starting (WOW!!!). What to do?!?!?
In the meantime I start Floor Barre in July for 5 weeks with a one-off Rhythm Tap General class in the middle! 🙂