Tap Into Life’s Lessons

photoMagic shoes! Shiny black with big looped bows
slabs of silver metal screwed on soles.
Best gift ever, when I was oh so young.
And oh how I remember…..

Swing a leg. Stomp, march, slap, clang!!
Body all feet. ALL SOUNDS.
EVEN WHen i tiptoed.
Add lessons, Tuesdays at ten.
To learn.
Teacher teaches,
directs, muzzles.
Shu-ffle, shu-ffle.
Shu- no, NO, NO!
Con-trol the-swing,
shor-ter. NOT so big.
Shu-ffle, shu-ffle.
One-two, one-two.
Slow-down. Con-trol the-sound.
Com-press your-space.

And there I was, in the mirrored wall,
shrinking. Like putting reins on little feet.
Learning to be small
while growing big.
Learning to fit in.

Photo:  Must be honest here. The photo is a little girl, have no idea of her name, who was in my first tap dance class. Just couldn’t put the picture of me up here — in a little pig’s outfit!  But I was there….. Any former shufflers out there?

12 thoughts on “Tap Into Life’s Lessons

  1. Ana Linden July 5, 2015 / 1:31 pm

    I started taking ballet lessons only because I loved the shoes and the leotard 😉 That’s how they talked me into it. Fortunately, two lessons later both my mother and I managed to accept that I wasn’t meant to be a ballerina. Being told what to do at every step, being yelled at and constantly criticized was part of the reason why I knew that ballet was something I would always appreciate and never practice. I just stormed out in the middle of the second lesson and waited to be picked up outside the door 🙂 .
    Your poem is such a great metaphor for control and the alliterations manage to both build up tension and create a vivid image; and the photo is adorable, no matter who the little girl is 🙂 .

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 5, 2015 / 5:18 pm

      Thanks so much, Ana. Ah yes…..ballet lessons….worth another poem that is! As in, I put those little pink slippers on at home and leaped, twirled, waved my arms around, thinking I was the most delicate beautiful ballerina in the world — and then, like you…went to my first class and had to hold on to a bar that was way too tall, and do slow deep knee bends in time with slow music and my teacher’s tapping cane….I understand completely! 🙂
      And thanks for the pingback and mention in your Doors post. Yes — it’s so true….when we’re little we just get it….we walk away, close the door, stomp away, let out loud cries….and then we learn to stuff! 😦
      Here’s to opening and closing doors…..and twirling and stomping to our heart’s content 🙂


      Liked by 1 person

      • Ana Linden July 5, 2015 / 6:41 pm

        Oh… I had forgotten about the cane 🙂 Having never been physically disciplined as a child, you can imagine my shock and horror when said cane not so gently tapped the back of my legs each time I wasn’t moving as expected. And that bar was yet another sort of torture, as it was definitely not meant for somebody my age and height. I had gone there with visions of pink tutus and graceful pirouettes and instead I discovered an angry, middle-aged, formerly mediocre ballerina, as I later got to find out 🙂
        As you said, here’s to opening the right doors and managing to close all the wrong ones!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. hlhivy July 6, 2015 / 6:03 pm

    My ballet teacher told me, “I correct you because you are WORTH correcting.” It made a huge difference in my outlook.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 6, 2015 / 6:30 pm

      Excellent point – the power of words: not only what is said but how it’s said. For me, I loved the sound of the taps and the way they made me feel. I have adult tap shoes and every once in a while, go to a workshop or just tap for me :).

      Liked by 1 person

      • hlhivy July 6, 2015 / 6:36 pm

        I’d love to find something like that around here!


  3. izzyasabee July 10, 2015 / 7:38 pm

    Reblogged this on izzyasabee and commented:
    I took 10 years of tap lessons. This poem is so true of those first days with my beautiful tap shoes. I still have tap shoes, and can still tap a little bit . . . but I’m sure I don’t look quite as graceful as I once did . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 10, 2015 / 7:45 pm

      Happy to meet a fellow tapper! 🙂 I can still do a mean tilme step…..and of course I can “shuffle off to Buffalo”….albeit a bit slower! So nice to see your comment and have you stop on by.

      Liked by 1 person

      • izzyasabee July 19, 2015 / 2:26 pm

        I haven’t tried in a while with actual shoes…. But a lot of times when I have excess energy, I will do the steps in bare feet. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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