Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tap, Tap, Tap

Both my daughters have been dancers all of their lives.  Krissy started dance lessons at 4 and Caity started when was 3.  I cannot speak the praises of this activity enough.  They both truly loved dancing.  I rarely had to "make" them go to dance....ok, neither of them were that excited about ballet, but tap, jazz and anything else, they loved.

It also gave them a certain quiet confidence that is so important for all young women.  They had a place to shine and challenge themselves.  In high school they were able to transfer their talents into musical theater.

The greatest gift from dance was simply that it kept them busy during those years when teenagers can often get easily distracted and into trouble.  Honestly, between dance, theater and choir....they didn't have a lot of spare time.

Maybe I need to rephrase that last paragraph...the greatest gift from dance was the sheer, unadulterated joy I had watching them perform.  There are simply no words to express how wonderful it was seeing them kick it up on stage.

At the conclusion of high school, I fully expected their dance endeavors to end.  To my surprise, that didn't happen.  During college, they both found opportunities to continue to dance and to this day they still both take classes.

Caitlin has even taken it a step further in becoming part of the Detroit Tap Repertory Company.  This is a local group of women who's dedication to the art of performance tap is amazing.  Their leader, Denise Caston pushes them all to new levels of skills.  In fact, Cait has never been challenged as much as she is right now.   The fact that she had a baby 4 months ago, might also play a role.

Through Caitlin's involvement in the Detroit Tap Repertory, she participated in the Motor City Tap Fest last week-end and last Saturday night, we went to Orchestra Hall to see a performance of the All Star Faculty.   It was a great show with some amazing talented tappers.  There are so many different tap'd be surprised.

As part of the evening they presented a special award to Miriam Nelson.  Miriam has a vast history of stage and movie tap dancing credits to her name and if you go to You Tube you can find some clips of her dancing in her hey day.  What was so amazing to me is that Miriam is 92 years old and she looks phenomenal.  She still taps and Cait even took a class from her over the week-end.  She has a grace and style that one can only hope they have at any age.

For me...the investment I made in the girls and dance is still reaping some wonderful benefits.


  1. That is so great that they both continued after high school. My favorite movie scene was watching Gene Kelly tap dance in the rain. It's such a happy type of dancing.

  2. wow, this sounds amazing, what a gift. my girls just started tap and they love marching around in their shiny shoes!

  3. Go Cait! Thats awesome. hopefully we can see her dance some day soon!

  4. I remember Carly dressing up in many of the costumes that you sent to Lori. I think there is also a pic of Gregg Taylor in the bumble bee one too.

    What great memories.

  5. That's so cool that they loved dance, and especially tap!

    I have just signed up both girls for dance and a pretty serious dance school. Lyric took a dinky 5 week rec center pre-ballet class this summer and really liked it. She loves dressing up, is girly, and can be very elegant. She also loves pretty music so it's just perfect for her. She also tends to be shy, so I think the class will be really good for her.

    My 12 year old and I have been watching many episodes of So You Think You Can Dance. We signed her up for Hip Hop, and then after seeing Lyric in her ballet class, and after hearing the judges talk about how ballet is great training for any kind of dance, she's decided to take a teen ballet class in addition to the hip hop.

    I'm going to have dancers too!