Yes, I tap dance.
Last year while I was signing up my daughter for dance class (a rite of passage for every suburban little girl), I asked a simple question-- "Do you offer adult tap classes?" I'm not even sure why, at 40, overweight, I decided to ask.
"Yes, we do. At 8 pm on Thursday nights. The teacher is great. Her name is Millie."
Without a second thought, I signed up. The studio is across from my house. The kids go to sleep at 8. No one would miss me.
I called my friend Lyn. We took belly dancing together about 8 years ago. She is the friend that I call when I want to do something completely insane.
She signed up, too.
When I went to the first class, I was amazed at how much I remembered. This was not my first shuffle by any means. I started tap dancing when I was 7 and didn't quit until I was a freshman in high school- way beyond when it was cool. But still, it had been awhile. My feet, however, miraculously started tapping as if it had only been a few weeks. Well, my right foot did. My left foot had some issues. If you tap, you understand.
The best part- I couldn't think about anything else while I was dancing. When I take the dogs for a walk, my mind races. Like most moms, I have 10,000 things on my to-do list and all of them running through my head non stop. But when I'm tap dancing, it all stops. If I think of anything else while I'm dancing I tend to trip. It's not pretty. I realized this about 5 minutes into the first class.
When I got home my husband asked me how it went. I told him my face hurt. He looked suprised.
I explained that I had smiled for an entire hour.
I literally had cheek pains from smiling.
What a great issue to have to deal with.
The next day, I was a little sore but happy.
We danced at the Christmas show and I felt like a complete ass. So did my friend, Lyn. An adventure is one thing. Public humiliation is another.
However, after the show, we were mobbed. We were the hit of the recital. And not to brag, but when we saw the video, we looked pretty darn good. Me, Lyn, the boys, the new tapper, the former attorney- quite a motley crew of "mature" tappers. It helped that we tapped to Burt Bacharach and not something cheesy. It was funky and fun. Black outfits. No tutus. And my kids were the most impressed.
In the spring, the class grew significantly. My friend Shelley joined in. I joked with Millie that the reason everyone signed up was because they figured if the fat chick could do it, so could they!
It was fun to be inspiring.
And then my back went out and I couldn't tap. Honest to goodness, that was the catalyst for me to get my breast reduction surgery. Not the back pain as much as the fact that I couldn't tap dance. It was the last straw.
So I've healed up and now I'm back tapping.
And my face hurts from smiling.
People always ask me why I am taking tap dancing. They assume it's to lose weight. Get in shape. Exercise. It's not.
It's to make my face hurt.