The Eagle

East Meck tiptoes into tap

Story by Issac Naylor, Senior Staff Writer and Cartoonist

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Hop, turn and shuffle into the Silver Auditorium for the first ever tap-dancing class series here at East Meck. These free tap classes are currently held by theatre arts teacher Bernadette Macleod after school every Tuesday and Thursday.

“[The classes] are going great,” senior Kirstyn Hackett said. “They certainly are intense, though.”

The classes will last for five weeks on the stage of the auditorium for all interested in tap, skilled or not. The first class was held Tuesday, Oct. 2 and the course will run through early Nov. These classes are in preparation for the upcoming musical, Anything Goes.

“[Tap] is essential to the show, which is set in the early 20th century,” Macleod said.

The musical is about a New York nightclub singer named Reno Sweeney aboard the S.S. American bound for England, who attempts to help her friend win his love interest through tap-dancing music numbers and blackmail.

“The dance takes time. The musical is full of that,” senior Timothy Reese said. “Without the hard work, [tap] is kind of difficult.”

Hard work is a must-have for these classes. Although, in regards to skill, there are not standards. Experience hoofers and people new to the dance are always welcome. Everyone is learning, including Macleod herself.

“I’m not a dancer at all,” Macleod said. “But I have such admiration for those who are.”

The classes are taught by professional tap dance teacher Vanessa Carr, who works with Charlotte Ballet, the dance department at CPCC and owns her own dance company, Charlotte Repertory Dance Theatre (CRDT).

“Today, people don’t really care much about tap, and that’s really disheartening,” Carr said. “It’s a shame because tap really brings out the best in creativity for young people.”

However, tap seems to be garnering a growing interest in New York City, especially with the recent spike in popularity in major Broadway productions, including Mean Girls, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical and Escape to Margaritaville.

“[Tap] is slowly making its way back on stage, especially with Broadway,” Carr said. “It’s such a graceful dance with a touch of flare.”

Macleod encourages all who are interested to stop by and join the class. Students will have to purchase their own tap shoes, which are available on Amazon. Students who attend these classes will stand at better odds of being a part of the musical cast. After having taken these classes, students will be familiar with both tap-dancing and the dance combinations in the musical.

“[In the course], we are basically learning the audition combo,” Hackett said.

However, the classes are for all students, not necessarily those who plan to audition for the musical.

“These classes are for everyone. Everyone!” Macleod said. “Students should have the chance to have fun and develop a fantastic skill.”

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