Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Tap Dance Tuesday (sort of)

Well, it's tap dance Tuesday again and the big news is that when we return from our Spring break I will be joining the intermediate tappers!!! (I am really more excited about this than I probably should be, but at the moment it's the only thing I have going on outside the confines of my little house).

That said, today's video doesn't actually have any tap dancing in it.  I am posting this as a tribute to the man who I guess one could say was a sort of dance inspiration to me as a kid.  No, not Gene Kelly - George Reeder.

George was a colleague of my father at a certain community college in Southern California, where for all of my childhood, they put on what to my young mind were musical theatre extravaganzas (my dad as the musical director, George as the choreographer).  In my memory, the theatre department was always putting on golden era musicals, but I guess they wouldn't have needed choreographers and music directors for non musicals, so I suppose my recollections are a bit biased.  At any rate, my brother and I spent a huge amount of our young years running around backstage, watching rehearsals and playing in the costume department (where my mother would sometimes be helping to get last minute sewing done), so when I look back, my childhood takes on the atmosphere of a Busby Berkeley movie.  In my early teenage years I even got to play minor chorus rolls which was great fun!

Sadly, George passed away a month or so ago.  He was quite a bit older than my dad and I had always been told that in the 50s he had been a backup dancer in Hollywood movies, the most famous one being Singing in the Rain.  So today, in memory of him, I am posting this clip from that film.  If you watch carefully, you can see him at second 54 behind Gene Kelly with the white bow tie and a suit which I am not even going to try describing.

Oh yeah, here's me all costumed up before our tap show last month.  Unlike most of my fellow classmates, I didn't really have much in the way of stage fright and I think that is from all those years as a kid doing musicals with George and my dad.  Just do it like you did in rehearsal and if you mess up, look the audience in the eye and keep smiling.

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