Posts Tagged ‘dance’

Tippity-tap

March 25, 2013

I recently started a tap dance class in an effort to regain some measure of fitness.  It’s great fun, and something I’ve never tried before.

All the children are entertained by the idea of Mummy dancing, but Fainjin has been the most interested.  My nephew is a tap-dancer, and Fainjin has long admired him so naturally wants to have a go.  I checked with my teacher, and she had space in a junior beginners’ class, so today I took Fainjin along.

He did really well!  Better than I expected, to be honest.  He listened really well, and concentrated, and seemed to be reasonably-well coordinated.  Most importantly, he had a great time.  He was slightly disappointed to be the only boy, but I told him he should tell all his friends how much fun dancing is and perhaps some of them will come along eventually.  I’m so pleased he already has such a great male dancer role-model in my nephew.

He loved stomping down the room making as much noise as he could (with permission!), then walking heel-toe, heel-toe.  He was highly amused that they then did “opposites!”, walking toe-heel, toe-heel.

I’ve signed him up for the rest of the term – another two lessons – and then I expect he will want to carry on.  At that point I might have to take him shopping for tap shoes.

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

This could get noisy…

July 25, 2011

My teenage nephew came for dinner last night.  The children were absolutely thrilled, he is lovely with them and they really look up to him (most people do, he is exceptionally tall).

He and Fainjin are the two boys in a gaggle of local girl-cousins, so they have quite a special bond despite the age difference.  And so, when – while waiting for dinner to be served – my tap-dancer nephew offered to show Fainjin a few steps, my boy was delighted to have a go.

I was instantly transported back in time about 12 years, when my nephew first saw “Riverdance” and had us all in stitches as he cavorted about the living room doing a passable 4-year-old’s version of the dances and falling down regularly.   I think we joked then that he would grow up to be a dancer… we had no idea how right we were.

He only had the TV to show him the steps.  Fainjin got personal instruction from an accomplished performer.  They started off with some very basic tap steps (in their socks), then my nephew showed off some rapid fancy steps.  Fainjin faithfully had a go at copying him, adoration written on his face.

It was still written on his face when he landed on his backside… twice.

Later, I was exclaiming over the cuteness to the Fabulous Auntie B.  She drily advised me to start saving for tap shoes.

Hmmmm.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

The Nutcracker

November 6, 2010

We were fortunate enough to win a double pass to the Royal NZ Ballet’s show The Nutcracker this week!  We were thrilled – I had been wanting to go, and Pearl had been wistfully pointing out the ads for it in every newspaper for a while.  I think The Dad would have quite liked to go too – in fact, I would love to have been able to take the entire family – but there were only two tickets, and he had another commitment in any case, so Pearl and I went together.

Pearl was enchanted to look over the wall into the orchestra pit and see real live musicians – and not one, but two concert harps!  I assured her that she would hear them several times during the ballet, and we made a bit of a game out of catching each other’s eye during the evening whenever we picked out the harp(s).

She was a bit restless during the overture, and I had to whisper in her ear to tell her what to expect.  I should have thought to warn her about the intermezzo too…

This version of the Nutcracker is set mostly in a children’s hospital – the idea being that Clara and her brother were fighting over the nutcracker on Christmas eve and she gets hit on the head.  Most of the dances are then dreams brought on by a combination of head injury and potent medicine dispensed by Matron.  Sir Jon Trimmer danced/acted the Matron wonderfully, in true pantomime tradition.  And the whole show was absolutely fabulous.

Near the start there were a couple of pyrotechnics, one when some  Christmas tree lights “blow a fuse”, and another when the nutcracker toy comes to life.  Pearl really didn’t like those, and hid down in her seat, but was soon caught up in the magic on stage again.  It’s hard to pick a favourite scene – Clara in her hospital bed flying above the Nutcracker Soldiers, or the beautiful Arabian princesses, or the comical trio of men dancing on crutches(!)… Through it all, there is a little side-story, a romance between one of the nurses and a young doctor, which is very sweet.  And the grand pas de deux is danced, not by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, but by Clara’s parents, transformed in her dream to Hollywood stars, a la 1920s (or so).

I had worried that Pearl would flag during such a late night out, but she fizzed all the way home, and couldn’t wait to tell The Dad all about it.  I know it’s only early November, but it really was a great way to start the Christmas “season”.

© UpsideBackwards 2010.


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