Mighty Life List: Take tap dance lessons.

2nd July 2009

This is my tap dance teacher, John Kloss. Doesn’t he look hopeful? If you refuse to look hopeful while tap dancing, they pry the taps off your shoes, and point sternly at the studio door. Then they kick you on your way out.

See? Earnest! He’s a professional.

Anyway, Mr. Kloss is the founder of the Bay Area Tap Festival, and he teaches beginner drop-in classes on Wednesday nights at City Dance. I took one — it was the very first time I’d ever put on tap shoes. I quickly realized that I needed an accelerated course, because my plan was to re-launch Mighty Girl with a little tap routine. I had visions of sparklers! And a humorous, sequined tappy outfit!

In retrospect, my vision was overly ambitious (surprise), but Mr. Kloss graciously agreed to meet me on Sunday to teach me a routine. I then spent eleven hours practicing between Sunday and Tuesday. I lost like three pounds, and I’m also so sore I can’t hold the TV remote without whimpering.

Mr. Kloss had a very good sense of humor about my plan, and I did manage to record something on Tuesday. I am not wearing spandex (disappointment!), but I did get all the way through the routine without crying. I’ll post the video tomorrow, so you can enjoy my very stern tap face.

If you need me, I’ll be in an ice bath.

Intel is making my site more interesting by sponsoring my life list over the next few months. So they paid for my tap shoes and studio time. Thanks, Intel!

34 thoughts on “Mighty Life List: Take tap dance lessons.

  1. amy

    Hat tip you for giving tap dancing a go! I loved tap when I was little and now that my little girl is getting to the age where she can follow instructions (when she feels like it) I can see tap shoes and ballet slippers in our very near future.

  2. Candice

    I love catching a dancer in a still frame. You can still see the fluidity and extension of their bodies; it’s one of the most beautiful expressions of the human body.

  3. catherine

    yea MIGHTY GIRL! I took tap for two years – those really attractive years of 5th and 6th grade – but never mind that, I’ll always remember how to shuffle off to buffalo!

  4. Elizabeth

    Will you keep going to tap lessons? You’ve built all these new muscle fibers, it would be a shame not to put them to more use.

  5. Martini Mom

    I still can’t get over how amazing this sponsored mighty life list thing is! Is it okay that I’m the tiniest bit jealous of you right now?

  6. robyn

    you could have borrowed my tap shoes! i haven’t let go of them yet, despite the fact that i haven’t taken a class in over a decade. isn’t tap wonderful!!!

  7. amy

    What a fabulous opportunity you have been given! I am so enjoying it vicariously, thank you.

  8. Shnerfle

    How awesome was that? Which was better: the dancing, crossing it off your list, or knowing that Intel was picking up the bill?

    Can’t wait for tomorrow! I’m practicing my “earnest face”.

  9. Elly

    Oh wow, look at him go! Even in static image form he’s all full of movement and craze. :) Yay! Hope you had a grand old time!

  10. Kimberly/Mom in the City

    It’s so great that you’re tackling your life list! Dance DOES look so much easier than it actually is. I remember taking a bellydance class and trying to slip out of the room unnoticed…

  11. wheezer345

    All i can say is “wow”, way cool! Look at the “air” that guy gets in the last photo!

  12. Jasie VanGesen

    I’ve never tap danced IN MY LIFE, but you mentioning this awhile back got my brain wheels a’turnin! And now everytime I wear my black boots that click a little when I walk, I find myself tapping along, getting a rhythm going.

    Me = giant dork

  13. Christian

    I would do anything that Mr. Kloss told me to do, and if that meant naked tap dancing in a vat of whipped cream, so be it.

  14. Emily

    I’m not sure why but the photos are about 1 cm. high on my Internet Explorer view of your new site. I haven’t noticed any other issues yet…

    How exciting for you- all this Intel stuff! I’m so excited to follow along. I have also been inspired to make my own “list.” Thanks, Maggie!

  15. jewelee

    i am sooooooo excited about this whole thing — it just makes me so happy to see you checking things off your list — go mighty!

  16. shannon b

    So I have to say that as an Intel employee I find it a little insulting that my employer told me, as well as the rest of it’s employees, that there was no money to give us raises this year. Yet two months later they’re paying someone to take tap lessons. I think it is great that you’re having such good fortune, but it still feels like a little kick in the crotch.

  17. Christine

    I haven’t been able to find a new job since graduating with my Masters degree last December. So for the past 8 months I’ve been stuck working at the same place where I did my graduate assistantship as a contract employee for $16 an hour. Talk about a kick in the crotch. But seeing Maggie be able to do all these things courtesy of Intel makes me happy and hopeful. I doubt the amount of money Intel is spending on her top 10 ideas would be enough to pay for raises for all their employees anyway.

    But enough about that. I’d rather think about tap dancing. Weee!

  18. Catherine

    I’m afraid the day is coming when I have to stop reading your site due to PARALYZING JEALOUSY.

  19. Tea

    Oh, Maggie. You become more like a fabulous forties film star all the time! Love it.

    I’m currently taking flamenco dancing classes—because I’ve always wanted to—and considering Irish Step dancing as well. I laugh when I tell people, because it makes me sound like I’m twelve, but the time I spend in the flamenco studio is a highlight of my week. Sometimes it’s the little things that make you happy.

    Thanks for sharing yours with us.

  20. schmutzie

    I had a friend who tap-danced when I was in elementary school. I coveted her tap shoes and stuck bottle caps into the bottoms of my sneakers to pretend I could do it, too.

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