Monday, September 8, 2008

Tap Shoes

Out on the porch the other night, I hear the strains of a lively tune from some old musical on TV. My foot automatically moves on its own...ta-tick, ta-tick, ta-tick, muscle memory of the tap shuffle from eons ago. I look down at the plastic crocs on my feet and long for my old tap shoes.

I loved, loved, loved my tap shoes. They were black, patent leather Mary Janes with a grosgrain ribbon tie.

They were flat "little girl" tap shoes. Only the girls who had been tapping for years got to wear tap shoes with heels.

I would wear them around the house because I liked the sound of the clickity-click they made on the hardwood floors. It drove my mother nuts. She would yell at me to take them off so they wouldn't scratch the floors.

What she didn't know was in the afternoons before she got home I would roll back the living room rug and tap my little heart out.

I tapped with the grace and coordination of a wounded walrus. I probably looked a lot like the bee girl in the Blind Melon video, but I didn't care. I was tap dancing!!!

Just for that brief moment in time I was Gene Kelley, singing in the rain and tapping away through the rain puddles. I was graceful and talented and the movie producers were knocking on my door, begging me to be in their next big musical. I was the toast of Hollywood AND Broadway.

Then at 5:00 pm I would take off my tap shoes and roll the living room rug over my dreams for another day.

I didn't learn much in the few months I took lessons but shuffle-hop-step and "shuffle off to Buffalo." At least that's all I remember. But every now and then I hear a song that calls for a tapdancer to do it justice, and my right foot begins the ta-tick, ta-tick, ta-tick involuntarily.


I still dream of being Gene Kelley and I still miss my Mary Jane tap shoes.

And I still look a lot like the Bee Girl.


Willym said...

I can only tell you that I am sitting here with the biggest damned smile on my face. A lovely post, beautifully illustrated.

Doralong said...

Dancing is good for the soul..

LostInCO said...

Awww..Bee girl is sweet. What a beautiful story. And excellently drawn tap shoes too!

Kimberly Ann said...

Love this post! Bee girl is wonderful too.

I will email you (privately because I'd die if anyone else saw it) a photo of me in my Irish dance costume. Suffice to say - chubby redhead girl, green satin, ruffled bum.

Wasn't tap wonderful? I miss it too. Hope TCM has some dance flicks on today.

sageweb said...

I love this story it is so adorable. How cute you are.

yellowdog granny said...

that post made me grin

Doralong said...

PS- Could you draw me some pretty toe shoes??

Miss Healthypants said...

What a wonderful story!

And a beautifully drawn picture of the tap shoes.


Chickie said...

I love looking at your artwork. Be it hotdogs or tap shoes.

How did I go this long without ever seeing that video? Bee Girl rocks!

p.alan said...

"All I have to say, is that my life is pretty strange..." LOL. Wickedly funny how similar our perspectives are, and I seriously doubt you still look anything like the bee girl. Only in your mind, dear.