As I’ve got older I have a few regrets, most of them are about opening my mouth at the wrong time, and not opening it at others. I could go on and on but why depress myself. Life’s too short to dwell on the things you can’t change – I prefer to use my energy to think of all the fun I can have and all the fun I can share.
However, there are two things I regret giving up when I was a child: Piano lessons and tap dancing.
Well, you know what they say – it’s never too late. I’m hanging fire on the piano lessons for a while. I spend a lot of my day on my bottom, although I have now got a standing desk – which is making a difference to my productivity if not the size of my rear end. But tap dancing is another matter entirely.
I have no idea where the urge to start tapping again came from – maybe it’s 50% due to my current work in progress ( a novel), maybe 50% a desire to get fit and have fun at the same time. I used to go to dance classes when I was around 8 or 9 but gave it up when I felt I should have made more progress. I wasn’t one of those girls that started lessons as a three year old, I didn’t take into account that the other kids in the class may have had hours and hours more practise than I did. I thought that because I was older I should have learned quicker and know what to do straight away to catch up. So when someone younger and cleverer than I was came along, I felt a failure and quit.
It’s the same with writing – the same with many things really. We only see the finished product when we read a book – not the hours of edits and revision that went into it – all the rejections and failures that preceded it. We don’t see the hours that a golfer, tennis player or athlete put in before they perform. Or the musician or artist. We just wish we could do that. In a way we can – if we want to put in the hours, the passion and the dedication.
I didn’t want to do that with tap dancing this time around. I want to have fun.
I went to a class last week and it was brilliant – I couldn’t sleep for a week afterwards. The class was about twenty in number – many younger than me, a few older. Some had been going a while, many had not. But it didn’t matter and I didn’t feel the need to measure myself against anyone else but my own reflection in the mirror that ran the length of one wall. Gosh, that was an eye opener – I hope I lose weight. Otherwise, I’m just going to keep my eyes shut and hope for the best!
I’m tapping for pure pleasure. It’ll never go any further than the kitchen but I feel so much joy when I’m tap, tap, tapping my troubles away.
It was the best fun: a little bit of warm up and then straight into learning steps and putting them into a routine. Nothing like the hours of repetition long ago. I wasn’t perfect. I was trying and failing but I WAS making progress, and I WAS having fun. I wish I’d known that it was all about the fun when I was a kid.
In time I may very well seek out a piano teacher and go for the Liberace experience. Watch this space!
And by the way. Those shoes are six and a half, not nine!