Babs

Had a great class tonight with our stand-in guest tap teacher Babette from Base Dance Studios in Vauxhall (after the original guest teacher had double-booked)! Apart from a few people I know, it seemed to be a completely different set of people! Weird. Maybe some took advantage of the bank holiday and gorgeous weather and took the entire week off. Or you do get that thing where people skip the one where the usual teacher is away.

We did a warm up in a circle to get our feet and ankles ready to some jazz by the legend that is Miles Davis. We were asked what tap steps we know, but I think because it wasn’t most of the usual crowd, it probably came across like we didn’t know much! Argh, we’re level 2! For example, we were asked if we had done a 5 beat paddle and everyone seemed to say no, while I was saying yes. However, I realised later that some had only been learning tap for 3 months (which confused me as to why they are doing level 2…anyway…).

Also, I’ve learnt all sorts of extras at the various tap festivals I’ve been to (plus I’m generally obsessed!), so I probably knew some of the steps Babette mentioned from those occasions (5+ beat riffs and paddles, and slides I learnt at Brighton tap Festival). We are quite a varied class!

We did some travelling exercises consisting of shuffles and flaps and then we learnt 2 cool routines that we did as a round (i.e. half did routine 1 while half did routine 2)! Although we all forgot the beginning of the first routine.

Level 3 keeps popping up in conversation, and I’d love to see what it’s like, but as a regular class, it’s way too late to get home on a school night. I struggle to get up on Thursday mornings as it is! I also think there’s an air of mystery hanging over level 3 where everyone is dying to get there before they’re ready. I know, we all get impatient to be able to do the crazy stuff.

BUT I think, if you’re not practising your steps outside of class, forget it. If you can get into a routine of regular practice, then it’ll happen! It’s like learning to drive a car. Eventually your lessons will get you there, but practising every day will get you there sooner. I know I need to practice more; I have no excuse now with the space we set up in the garage 🙂

On a side note, our trip to see 42nd Street at the weekend was amazing!! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know I saw it with a friend last summer. This time my SO and I took my mum for her birthday, and it was soooo gooood! I think I enjoyed it even more the second time!

Check It Out

I never made it to my tap class last night because I was feeling a bit on the fatigued side and decided to head home and rest, instead of overdoing it and ending up unable to surface for a busy work day in the morning (or passing out in the studio). Sometimes you’ve just got to give in and rest.

As is tradition now, today I had a little practice of a pickup exercise we’ve been doing. Check it out LOL

 

 

I also booked tickets to see The Tap Pack at Sadlers Wells’ Peacock Theatre in Holborn next Thursday evening! I had kind of written it off due to going to 42nd Street this coming Saturday (oh by the way, turns out my brother used to teach the lead actress!) and wanting to calm it down a bit, but I got an email from Sadlers Wells featuring a clip of the show and the tickets are discounted for certain evenings… Cannot wait!

Courtesy of Peacock Theatre

Next Wednesday we have a guest teacher at our tap class so that should be fun!

Easy

Yay, the sun is out and we have warm weather! I was celebrating this fact yesterday until I suddenly thought, oh no, I bet the tap class will be in the usual evening studio A04. This studio is in the basement and is usually quite warm. Last time I was there the windows were pretty much sealed up due to ongoing building works to make the reception area more accessible. Well, last night there was plastic sheeting over the entire wall of windows… But we had 2 fans!

Anyway, enough about that. It was GREAT to be back at the Wednesday evening class! It was busy but not crazy big as it usually is. Caught up with my pal R who I haven’t seen in a while and I told her about the Cats Workshop at Pineapple Studios so hopefully she’ll come to the next one in June. I’ve been gushing about it so much I should get some commission (or a free t-shirt)! We also spent a while talking about tap shoes because it was the first time I’d worn my white Jason Samuel Smiths to the evening class. Once in a warm-up circle, I felt slightly self conscious because everyone else was in standard black taps.

We learnt a travelling pickup step which moves in a triangular formation – a lot of crossing your legs and trying not to get tangled while still making all the sounds! Our teacher asked if I was doing it without thinking. Me: “er, yes”. Then she got me to go a bit faster. Fun!

We also learnt a different sort of cramp roll, where the toe of one foot stays on the ground, so you get 3 sounds instead of 4. Both this and the previous exercise fed into our **routine**, which is a slow one to Lionel Richie and the Commodores’ Easy.

It was a really fun evening, and despite saying that I wanted to swap to Thursday lunchtimes, I think I’m going to stick with Wednesday night.

Which reminds me, I’d better book the next one before it sells out 😯

So Stagey

Tap was cancelled last week but I actually didn’t mind because I was quite tired anyway, but at the same time it was a shame to not tap for two weeks. Actually, MOVE IT 2018 made up for it so I really only went one week without tapping!

This week our teacher is running a catch up class, so I’ll be going along to that tomorrow lunchtime, armed with new top and microfibre sweat towel, both bargains I picked up from Decathlon which has just opened nearby 🙂

Sooo glad I have a week off work next week! However, I will still be dancing. Not tap, as that class will be taking a break over Easter. Being the keen person that I am, I have only gone and signed up to take part in OMG So Stagey CATS WORKSHOP at Pineapple Studios! Cats is my favourite musical ever and I must have seen it at the theatre least 6 times. So when I got a newsletter through from Pineapple and saw that a recent cast member was running this workshop, I was like “I’M THERE!”

It’s next Sunday afternoon and I will fill you in on the goss afterwards. Not sure if we need to dress up…

MOVE IT 2018

Yesterday I went to day one of MOVE IT 2018 at ExCel in London’s Docklands! The exhibition hall was packed with excitable young people, dance students, enthusiasts and others. There were tons of stands with everything from theatre schools and dancewear to hair braiding, sports massage and stage makeup. The main stage was the showcase for various performance colleges, such as London Studio Centre, and there was also a cool Freestyle stage in the middle of the hall. There was also a fitness area with exercise classes, plus a new area with roller skating rink!

I was really pleased to see London Tap Jam there promoting their event and tapping away at their stand. Managed to film their host Jess Murray:

As I mentioned in a previous post, I took part in the following workshops:

Percussive Hands & Feet with Adam Buckley of STOMP

This was a class with a lot of stomping, stamping and clapping with one of the performers from the hit West End show STOMP! It was so much fun creating a rhythm using our hands and feet, and sometimes it was a bit like rubbing your tummy with one hand and patting your head with the other, but it was great! Loved it.

Tap Workshop with Syncopated Ladies

Yay! Another workshop with Maud Arnold… But this time with the addition of her sister Chloe! We did a warm up and then they taught us a routine to NERD’s (Pharrell Williams) Lemons, which they had recently performed on the Ellen DeGeneres show! OMG

It was fast, sassy and fun, plus we had to find a partner and dance towards and away from them, plus alternate with improv! Well, my partner ended up being a lady I recognised from Tap Festival UK (and she was wearing the sweatshirt)! That was also good because she was an adult – there were loads of teens there! It was great to have another go at Improvisation. Doing it in pairs made it less scary, and we did a group improv at the end, which was fun.

Finally we did a group photo, which I’m told will be shared on Instagram at some point, so I’ll look out for it. I managed to get on stage with the Syncopated sisters, and Chloe had her hand on my back, so that made my day!

My SO managed to capture some footage for me… Enjoy! 😁

Tomoz

Sadly I didn’t make it to Tap this lunchtime, but fear not, tomorrow I’m off to MOVE IT 2018!

I will be doing the following workshops while I’m there:

13.45 Percussive Hands & Feet with Stomp OR Tap Workshop with London Studio Centre

15.30 Tap with Chloe and Maud Arnold of the Syncopated Ladies

Now, I had originally said I was doing the Tap workshop with London Studio Centre, but I got that confused when booking with a Musical Theatre Tap workshop taking place at 10.30 in the morning and double booked the 13.45 slot – oops! So I think I’m gonna go with Percussive Hands and Feet to pick up a new skill which will help with my tap massively.

I will share all about the day (with pics) over the weekend!

I’ve also started a Tap Notebook. I love notebooks and writing and tap, so it was bound to happen! Here I am jotting down all the terms, tips, corrections, steps to practice and other relevant stuff from my tap learning. I got the idea from a Dancer’s Journal that I bought at Bloch over a year ago. It’s lovely, but unfortunately I found it too structured to fill out with what I’m doing. I think it’s more suited to full time dance students. If you don’t fit the mould, make your own!