Sunday, July 4, 2010

Tap difficulties.

I want to answer a question that was posed to me by a reader. The reader asked:

What are the difficulties you notice as a ballet dancer doing tap? Are there things which you think might make it harder for you, with your background?
(I am asking because I have noticed that some ballet dancers have a harder time relaxing certain things -such as the ankles- when doing tap for the first time)

The answer I have to offer is thus: the whole process stinks!!! Relaxing my ankles as a formally trained ballet dancer is actually the least of my worries!! I feel that I am struggling with the coordination of learning a completely new vocabulary of movement. I find that often I understand the movement, but I can't get it to go from my head to my feet. It is really frustrating! I keep going back, but it is still completely embarrassing! Oh well, I have no choice but to stick with it and hope the teacher doesn't hate me for being there!

There are dancers who don't have as much trouble picking up new things such as tap even if they aren't used to doing it, but I'm not one of those! My body fights me every step of the way, but I suppose that's how I have reacted to dance from the beginning! I'll just have to keep fighting back.


  1. Thanks for answering.

    I once had to learn a bunch of tap routines for a musical I was in - but it was not the whole deal, just a bunch of routines.
    What you are doing is different, I think.
    You are probably learning the technique - with many many repetitions of the basics, etc.

    It is surely frustrating the first weeks!
    I imagine this is how the majority of my adult beginner ballet students often feel, too.

    Relax a bit. :D (less is sometimes more!)

    You are a professional ballet dancer.... you have done amazing things. :)
    Hang in there, you will get it!


  2. Thanks for the encouragement. It's coming along! To answer an earlier question, yes, the relaxing of the ankles is a bit of a challenge. More than that though is the coordination for things such as pullbacks and adding pick-ups to things.