Dancing around the world
May 2006, Hollywood
Wow! What a great time we are having in the USA. We are staying in a town called Hollywood at the moment which is on the west coast of the USA in Los Angeles. It is the home to lots of celebrities and film studios and is very glamorous. We are keeping busy brushing up on our tap dancing technique in some of the dance Schools over here. If you would like to learn a bit more about the RAD in America, why not have a look at this website; www.radusa.org.
It really is brilliant to be here in the States as this is where the story of tap dancing began. Tap dancing started amongst African slaves who had been brought over to America. They began to combine the rhythmic footwork from their traditional dances with some of the movements from English and Irish clogging. By the 1920’s people had started to add metal taps to the bottom of their shoes and had created steps like the time-step, ball-change and the shuffle. Perhaps you have tried dancing some of these well known steps yourself? As some of the tap routines we have been learning are very fast and musically precise, we are finding them quite tricky. Jake keeps telling me, practice makes perfect!
One of our favourite places here in Hollywood is the Walk of Fame. It is a stretch of road where famous celebrities have their name engraved upon a star which is then placed on the sidewalk. There are over 2,000 stars there. We love strolling along the boulevard and trying to spot the star with Fred Astaire’s name on it. He danced in the film musicals of the 1930’s and 40’s and is our tap idol.
Ps. Did you know that the World Record for the most amount of taps per second is held by Michael Flatley at 35 taps per second? Can you imagine that! We’re off back to the studio now to see if we can manage 36…
January 2005, New York
Image: The Statue of Liberty
Hello! What a fantastic way to start our world tour - New York is an amazing city! Did you know that it is nicknamed The Big Apple? We are busy rehearsing with the New York City Ballet for The Nutcracker, There are lots of enormous art galleries here in New York like the Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I have been visiting art galleries during my rehearsal breaks – they are fascinating.
New York is a very big and busy city, there are yellow Taxi’s everywhere. We have visited Times Square and the Empire State Building and we are looking forward to going to Central Park tomorrow! Anyway must dash back for rehearsal, we start performing tomorrow! We are in Canada next month – we will write then.