You may not think Warren Craft and Maud Arnold have much in common. She’s a bold and fiesty Columbia University graduate with a famous sister. He’s a quiet former ballet student who is still in high school. But give them tap shoes and all their differences fall away. They both hit hard with unbelievable rhythms, grace and style. And they both have an inner strength that shines through.
I often notice in other tappers the same self-confidence and artistic fearlessness that I see in Maud and Warren, and I recently came to the conclusion that perhaps it comes from making noise. In most dance forms, if you’re having a bad day, it’s easy to slip to the back of the studio and go unnoticed. But there’s no hiding in tap. You either hit the beat or you don’t. You’re either present or you’re not. You are your sound.
As 2009 comes to a close, Dance Spirit celebrates all types of dance. “Bright Young Things” (p. 44) looks at 12 top talents (with expanded coverage on our cover subjects) who we think will break out in 2010. We put tap front and center to remind all of you to stand tall, take up space and dance loud!
Since rhythm tap is only one aspect of the genre, in “Show Tap: A Spectacular Style” (p. 52) we shine the spotlight on another classic tap form. Sometimes it gets a bad rap for not being as modern or intricate as hoofing, but at its best, show tap is elegant, fleet-footed and sophisticated—picture (ahem) Fred Astaire. (If you’ve never seen him dance, please, Netflix the suggested movie titles on p. 54!)
Whether you’re a tapper, a contemporary dancer, a ballerina or a b-girl, the holidays are coming and you need to think about what you’re going to get your friends. So grab a pen and sit down to make your list with the help of our guide, “Great Gifts for Every Girl” (p. 38). This year, it’s better than ever: We’ve got the perfect presents for your girly, diva, bohemian and sporty gal pals—67 items all together!
Lastly, next time you’re heading into a dance class or summer study audition (many of them are early this year!), remember that inner confidence and strength are beautiful. They’ll radiate from you. Think like a tapper and make some noise!
Photo by Jayme Thornton