1/1/2015

by cedhausen

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Despite time being a concept invented by Homo sapiens along with the calendar as a means to make life more convenient, it sure feels good to be in the year 2015… somehow. It must be if I’m doing this:

Yeap, I tap! Well, it’s been a year since I learnt a new routine, and it feels great being able to do the Charleston. I learnt the routine by watching these tappers from Drury Lane Tap last week and thought, “what the hey! Let’s do this.” Forgive me if I’ve missed a few steps…

From the day I discovered Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, I knew I wanted to tap dance. I bought my first pair of tap shoes in the UK when I found a YouTube channel teaching all the basic steps, before joining the Leeds Dance Studio which was a twenty-minute walk from where I lived. Back then, twenty-minute walks were a blessing. Feel lethargic? Take a walk. Feel depressed? Take a walk. Back here, I’d take the car even if my destination is across the street. Heat and humidity don’t mix well with me. Well… depends on the activity.

But I’m glad I started the year with happy feet. I miss all the friends I’ve made in tap class, and I hear they’ve most recently performed a routine to Top Hat, White Tie and Tails! Gosh I’m envious… Then again, Katie did upload the whole routine on their Facebook page… Katie is the wonderful dance instructor who’s never caught off guard without a smile. Here she is on the right:

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I was at my Master’s graduation ceremony (“Wait, what? How old are you again?”) earlier during the day, hence the formal get up. She really is a brilliant instructor, and I highly recommend the dance studio to anyone at Leeds wishing to learn something new.

If I’m proud of myself for anything, it would be picking up those tap shoes and watching all those videos on YouTube, practising in the common kitchen while everyone else in the apartment was away, then signing up for tap classes at the studio. I’ve always wanted to tap. Always. There’s something about the percussive rhythm the shoes make when they slap and spank the ground that thrills me. Growing up, I’ve always admired it clandestinely. It was, literally, the best kept secret because no one could imagine me dancing, including myself. I thought I’d be the most awkward dancer ever, which incidentally also explains my late entry into the clubbing scene (I don’t think I’ve truly enjoyed them until I went to the UK).

All that changed one day. I can’t even remember why. I just got out of the apartment and walked as fast as I could to the city centre, praying this dance equipment place was still open. I couldn’t stop tapping after that. I went to classes every week. Forced myself to participate in public performances just so I can push myself harder to perform better, though also partly because I knew I’d never have the opportunity to do that in Malaysia. It’s almost impossible to find an active tap community in Kuala Lumpur. I’m not saying there are none, but they just seem more elusive around here.

It’s a great release. Also the best way to keep in shape in my opinion. I know I’d be the first person to be sucked into a cyclone if one ever passed me by (it’s my metabolism…) but dancing is fun. It may not be for everyone, but it’s fun. And I miss my gang in Leeds. So today shall be day I remember the fun times I’ve had tap dancing back in Leeds, and I shall honour my toe-tapping friends back there by continuing to dance for as long as my legs can carry me. Astaire continued dancing in his final years. I think that’s motivation enough.

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Alright folks, that’s all for tonight. I know there hasn’t been a Photo of the Day yesterday and today, mainly because the whole world’s taking this time to reflect on the past and to contemplate their futures so I thought I’d just jump on that bandwagon. I’ll return to that routine again tomorrow, so I apologise to any of you out there who come here mainly for the photos, though I hope my thoughts and written experiences are valuable too. =)

I start a new job tomorrow so I best sleep early tonight! Bonne nuit!

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