The Wall 

I don’t even feel like writing about Tap tonight.. But I don’t want to disappoint LOL

Majorly stressful times at work and with trying to sell our home on top of all this, so after a big announcement today about yet more change afoot at the office and some negative conversations, I left work, hid out in a café and almost burst into tears. I intended to read to take my mind off things but ended up instead sitting there staring into space like a zombie for half an hour before deciding not to chicken out of tap. 

Level 1 was fun, and I managed to remember bits from last week and we filmed the routine for practice. By level 2 I was a sweaty Susan and I couldn’t recall ANYTHING from last week… At all! Anyway, I gave it a go but I just just kept getting lost and wanted to just be vanished out of there and onto a yoga mat somewhere else. Not really felt like that before in this class. 

Spoke to my teacher afterwards and she said I was doing fine but she could see I had hit the wall by a certain point. Agreed! 

Anyway, I won’t let one frustrating class set me back. I just hate feeling like I’m behind, but then most people are probably feeling like they’re behind too! Now I have the videos I can practice before next week ☺ 

Rainy Days and Improv

Rainy Day

Yesterday was such a miserable, rainy day in London. I’ve been really stressed out recently and I really wasn’t feeling like going to Tap after work, but I knew that it would cheer me up and I would be energised…which it did, and I was!

I spoke to my teacher when I was grabbing water before the class started and told her I have booked a place on her Tap Shim Sham class, but I wasn’t sure about the Improvisation & Composition class the following week, and if I would be the right level. (Told her about my previous experience of Improvisation when I was still a beginner and didn’t have enough steps in my vocabulary to do a lot) She said I should definitely do it. It sounds as though it will be a relaxed and fun 2 hour workshop for level two upwards, so I am booked on!

So my summer programme is looking like this:

Weds 12th July – Tap Shim Sham 7-8pm

Weds 19th July – Tap Improvisation & Composition 6-8pm

Monday 31st July – Rambert 1 Day Adult Dance Intensive 10-4

I’m really looking forward to it, and I’ve got a day off after each event so I pace myself and don’t end up ill again.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to mention the workshops to my friend last night, and she zipped off as soon as the class was finished.

It’s funny, a girl at the level 1 class last night was asking me about other classes I’ve done as she’s interested in doing ballet as well, but is not sure about days and timings. She said she has a habit of overcommitting and burning out. Yeah, me too!

To alleviate some of the stress and back ache I am feeling at the moment, I have booked a 1 hour aromatherapy massage tomorrow afternoon. I was only going to get a half hour back massage, but the receptionist said they have a new therapist and all of her treatments are currently half price! So I went for the full hour. Hopefully it will be good…

 

Wednesday 

Really fun classes tonight! Crawls, pick-ups, shunts (watch those knees!), riffs, and more! Did a pick-up ‘plait’ which is basically doing pickups in a triangle. Managed it, but definitely something to practice!

Right, I’m off home to shower and eat! Made a lovely Goan fish curry last night…

Let it Shine

Mega Taps

Last night I went to Rhythm Tap 1 & 2 after a really dull day at work. I wasn’t sure if I was tired from work or boredom, but there we are. Anyway, got there and then I found some energy from somewhere!

In level 1 we spent a lot of time practising flaps. Because these are quite familiar now, I had a go at jazzing it up and playing around with different speeds and timings, which was noted by my teacher. (Didn’t realise she was watching!) Our routine is to Take That’s Let it Shine!

I was sensible this time and filmed the routine at the end because I NEVER remember the level 1 routine. (Sorry, I can’t share this!)

After running to put my phone back in my bag as level 2 peeps came in, I barely had a breather before the next class warm-up began!

In level 2 we practised some more complex pick-up exercises (I’d been practising at home because last week I got completely lost) and some crawls to Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars). A really fun co-ordination exercise!

Then we moved onto our routine which is to…I don’t know what the track is actually. Maybe I should ask. But I’m really enjoying it! Lots of crawls and three leaps with a heel click in the air! I also took the opportunity again to film it at the end.

Got home, ate, showered and stretched and used my spiky ball rollers on my feet and legs.

Can’t wait for next week!

 

 

LCBE (Last Class Before Easter )

Today I went to my last Tap class before Easter. I feel really tired today as the cat keeps waking me up at 4am(!) so I wasn’t feeling at my best when heading down to Morley College at lunchtime, but I didn’t want to miss out.

As usual it was too hot, I was too hot and with a fuzzy foggy head, I was wondering if I was going to be able to get through the entire 45 minutes. I had hydrated before the class and made sure I drank throughout, but if you’re tired, you’re tired.

Rucksack

Our teacher explained after our warm up in a circle that we were going to spend the entire class on our routine. Oh no. That would require some serious brain power.

Despite my reservations, it was actually good fun as we tackled a whole extra section which included scuffs, shunts and turns. She did say to me “Sorry, but I’m going to push you” which made me slightly nervous, but I do like the challenge, but she also told me to try and push my toes forward and out as she felt I was clawing them. Yes, that is my trademark. I will try and work on that because I KNOW I do it all the time. I was told off for that in a Jazz class taster at Morley a few years ago after the teacher felt where my toes were through my shoes and it made me slightly paranoid. But it is good to be made aware of things that are hindering your progress so that you can correct them.  That is the thing with dance training – they’re always correcting your feet!

Anyway, I am going to enjoy the two week break and catch up on some sleep before returning to Wednesday night classes!

Tap Thursday

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!

Brighton Tap Festival 2016

Yesterday I travelled down to Brighton for the last day of Brighton Tap Festival 2016!

The Festival was held at the Brighton Youth Centre, within an easy walk of the sea front. When I arrived, I registered and while sorting myself out I bumped into my Tap teacher from Morley College! I had a feeling she might be there.

I had purchased a 2 class pass and was booked onto Maud Arnold’s Beginners class, followed by founder member Kate Ivory Jordan’s Beginners class.  However, I found out from Facebook the day before that Maud’s class had changed to ‘Afro Funk’. I had no idea if that meant it would be a Tap class or not, so I took my dance sneakers just in case. Good thing I did! It turned out to be a HIGH ENERGY dance class with a West African & Jamaican Dancehall fusion. It was so much fun, but I had to step out a few times (as did others) because it was so energetic, with plenty of winding and grinding, and it was a pretty warm day. I think next time I will take a bigger water bottle. It ran out pretty quickly!

I met some really nice people there who had been there since the start of the Festival (Tuesday) and they stayed on for Kate’s Tap class afterwards. There was just a really nice, friendly atmosphere, even though I had just turned up on the final afternoon and was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Kate’s class was just the right level for me with a bit of challenge to be able to pick up the steps quickly and perform them at speed. That’s how you improve! I defintely agree with not thinking about it, but just going for it. After learning a short routine, we did some rhythm exercises in circle and then a bit of improvisation. Although that was quite cool, I didn’t feel I knew enough steps to be able to just go for it in the same way as if I had a bit more experience. But, not a bad thing at all. It’s good to come out of your comfort zone once in a while!

After that I met Clive and we went for coffee and a chill out at Small Batch Coffee Co. followed by a nice walk along the sea front, which was buzzing with people eating, drinking, playing beach volleyball and basketball. I have to say my legs were like lead and I was completely bushed. I’m blaming Afro Funk! Had a filling Vietnamese noodle soup at Pho (although I felt almost too tired to be bothered to eat), then headed back to get changed for the evening UK Showcase and Masters Tap Gala at the Brighton Dome Studio Theatre, which was sold out!

All I can say is WOW. The show was AMAZING. The talent of these Tap dancers! Everyone was incredible and I loved the live accompaniment of Jazz music by the Michelle Drees band, but my stand-outs were Avalon Rathgeb (wow, wow, wow – she teaches at Pineapple Studios and is part of Old Kent Road performing group with my teacher) and Alexandr Ostanin. A fantastic end to the festival!

I’ve definitely come away with the motivation to get practising and I can’t wait for next year!

http://www.brightontapfestival.co.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/brighton_tapfestival/