At most performance rehearsals, there isn't the need to do a sound-check with the drummer and the dancers. At a tap show, it's a must. The beats are coming from both parties, so those amps better be set to pitch perfect.
This past weekend, metal-soled kicks took the stage, for a performance by the very talented Stepology, a local tap dance organization who is trying to preserve those classic tip-tappity steps through its annual Bay Area Tap Fest program. I stopped by the Stepologists' final rehearsal to get a taste of what they were up to, and was very glad I did.
As a child, I had a large portrait of Fred Astaire in my bedroom (no joke!) and remember spending hours watching classics like Holiday Inn and Swing Time with my grandmother. They were such entertaining and silly movies. Those classics definitely had an influence on me, because I too took tap lessons and started dressing in long vintage skirts that made a perfect bell shape when I twirled.
Stepology is keeping that genuine spark of classy foot moves alive, while adding in some modern sensibility, with live contemporary music and clever originality. I'm sure anyone who sees the troupe perform will feel just a bit of nostalgia -- and excitement for the future of this art form.
Fred, showing off the moves in Holiday Inn: