Gene Kelly was a family favorite in my childhood household. I had an anthology set of Gene Kelly recordings, which got us through many family road trips to Mammoth. But as much as I loved watching him act and sing, it never held a candle to his dancing. Scenes like the Summer Stock newspaper tap routine left me in awe. I loved the earthiness of his dancing, and much preferred him over that twirler Fred.
But, alas, I was quite an awkward child, very uncoordinated and unaware of my body. What's more, the very few times I took tap classes (peppered throughout childhood and even into college), I was too wrapped up in trying to be good at tapping. I never enjoyed simply tapping -- good, bad or otherwise.
Well, I've recently enrolled in a tap class at the local community center, and I'm proud to report I'm average (at best). I had a lovely moment of epiphany today in class: as you might know, tapping requires your feet and other muscles to be loose. You can't muscle your way into the right sounds. Now that I'm a few classes in, the muscle memory of some of the steps are kicking in. There is a pleasant feeling of zen detachment that comes to me over the course of the class. And that is when I do my best tapping.