April in Glenwood: Make every shuffle, hop and step count | PostIndependent.com

April in Glenwood: Make every shuffle, hop and step count

I’m all about art forms that make some noise. Music is the obvious first thought that comes to mind, with all the delightful, boisterous sounds that can derive from instruments and vocals. I’m hardly musical myself — more of a listener than a player — but the tambourine is one instrument I’ve been able to keep a beat with as accompaniment. I’ve also tried my hand at the bongos during late-night drum circles during my college and Carbondale social scene days.

I’m sure I thought I sounded way better in my mind than in reality. I continue to try and attempt singing in tune at karaoke, but usually fail miserably. Realistically, karaoke is an outlet for my comedy, an art form that can produce its share of noise when done correctly. I’ve never been much of a prop comic, but I do have a component to my karaoke rendition of Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” that involves sugar packets in the finale. I’ve also added The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face,” complete with interpretative dance, to my list of new favorites.

Keep in mind that during one of my first performances of the song, I was dressed as Sophia from “The Golden Girls” last Halloween.

Who knew she could do the Running Man?

For me, dance goes along with the music whether I’m making a fool of myself at karaoke or keeping my 10-month-old entertained and happy. He’s already a music fan, and loves any song that features children singing. He also likes when I sing Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.” Don’t ask me why. Could be my sound effects.

Another favorite art form of mine on the sound spectrum is tap, a dance I’ve loved since I was a little girl doing shuffle hop steps. As an adult, I was able to revive my passion for the dance with lessons at the former Glenwood Dance Academy. It was fun to slip on the tap shoes after a few decades of hiatus and recall all those spirited dance steps that brought me so much joy in my childhood.

Later, I made use of my tap shoes for comedy purposes, dancing with my own version of improvisational slapstick moves in Carbondale’s Viva La Woman burlesque shows.

One day I hope to pull off my own version of Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle’s tap dance of “Puttin’ on the Ritz” from “Young Frankenstein” in a burlesque show. That will take some serious practice, and costuming, to pull off, but it will happen.

Although I have a hard time being serious when dancing.

Imagine my elation to hear Carbondale will tip its proverbial top hat to my favorite art form this weekend as part of National Tap Dance Day. According to Wikipedia, the observation falls on May 25 every year in celebration of tap dancing as an American art form, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on Nov. 8, 1989. Tap Dance Day is also celebrated in Japan, Australia, India and Iceland.

“National Tap Dance Day was the brainchild of Carol Vaughn, Nicola Daval and Linda Christensen. They deemed May 25 appropriate for this holiday because it is the birthday of Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson, a significant contributor to tap dance,” says Wikipedia.

On Saturday, the Carbondale Council on the Arts and Humanities hosts a Tap Dance Jam from 4-5 p.m. to celebrate National Tap Dance Day with Karen Kent. Tap dancers will learn a routine and shuffle hop step their hearts out for the love of tap. For more information about the Tap Dance Jam, call Karen at 618-4198.

April E. Clark played the Scarecrow in her dance school’s rendition of “The Wizard of Oz” as a little girl. She wanted to be Dorothy. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@gmail.com.


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