Personal Life

For the Love of Tap Dance

Last night I sat in my room with my mom while we watched this weeks episode of World of Dance. One of the duels was between Les Twins and Kyle Van Newkirk. Their styles of dance were on complete opposite ends of the spectrum with the Les Twins being more hip-hop and Kyle a tap dancer. Les Twins got to pick who their opponent was for this duel and during one of the brief interviews with them, it was obvious why they picked Kyle. Unlike most of the other contestants who chose groups or individuals to duel in order to be challenged, Les Twins chose Kyle because they had no doubt that they would win even though they did not come right out and say that exactly. They basically dissed tap and made me like them even less.

Now, I am not saying they are bad dancers because they are not, but their style is not my cup of tea and the attitude they had towards tap just did not sit well with me. In my opinion, a tap dancer should never have to go up against hip-hop dancers because the technique for each of the styles is so unique and different from the other. How can the judges possibly compare the two fairly? It is not possible. I say this because I was and still am a dancer at heart.

I started dancing when I was 3 1/2 years old at Becky Seamster Dance Studio and kept dancing with the studio for 15 years until I graduated from high school. The styles I danced included ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, and modern. I also tried pointe for a year, but decided that it was not for me and I was better off sticking to ballet. Out of all of the styles, however, tap was and always will be my favorite. Whenever I put my shoes on and stepped onto a stage or in a classroom, all of my troubles would melt away and all my concentration would be on the sounds I was creating with my feet. No other dance style could make me feel the kind of peace that tap dancing gave me.

Back when I was in middle school, the love I had for dance was so strong that I believed that I would go to college and pursue a professional career. Shortly after 7th and 8th grade, that all changed…After I hit a certain age and was old enough to go into the studio alone, my mom allowed me to do so without coming inside and watching my classes. I appreciated this because I liked being able to surprise her with what we were working on and it made me feel mature when I would go in alone.

However, most of the other moms were always in the waiting room watching every dance class. It came to a point where I felt like I was being judged because when I would sneak glances out the window, some of the moms would be watching me instead of their daughter and all I could wonder was what I was doing wrong. Then came drama within the competition team that I had joined my 6th grade year. To add on even more, I began to hear people talk about me. Not only some of the girls, but also some of the moms when they thought I could not hear them. I do not remember what was said exactly, but I do remember that from that point on my love for dance slowly started to dissipate.

I quit the competition team after my 3rd year as a member due to money problems and also needing a break from it all. During my year off, I missed competing and seeing all the girls head to Chicago for the competitions made me very jealous. The next comp season came around and my grandpa told me he was willing to help pay for the costs if I really wanted to do it again so I decided I would give it one more try. It was a fun season, but it also made me realize that my heart was not in it like it used to be. Something inside me that had loved dance with my whole being had been broken. That comp season was my fourth and final one. I continued taking regular classes and performing in the recital all the way through high school, but I knew I would never pursue dance in a professional way after that.

Yes, there are days I miss dance, but that is because dance will always hold a piece of my heart and I could never deny that. That piece of my heart mainly belongs to tap, however, due to that being the style I connected to the most and the one that came the easiest to me even with its challenges. I still love dance, but not in the same way I used to and as I have gotten older, I realize that is the path God wanted me to take. Everything happens for a reason even if we do not understand those reasons at the time. tap 5-1tap 2-1

So I would love to see Les Twins try tap dancing and then hear what they have to say about it.

Have you been watching World of Dance? If yes, what are your thoughts?

~Lex

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