Tap dancing and I have a love-hate relationship. It started long ago, when I was a wee thing, no more than six years old. Mom enrolled me in tap class. I thought it was great fun but apparently I bugged my teacher. When the other girls heel, toe, shuffled right, I shuffled left. If they turned one way, I went the other way. My failure to conform (which was probably just a small girl's inability to understand right and left) got me kicked out of class. A tap dance reject before I finished first grade! Oh, the pain. Oh, the horror. Wipe the tears from your eyes and stick with me. It gets easier. . . .
The thing is, I still think tap is cool. It's one of the few original American art forms, along with the blues and jazz. It shares with the blues and jazz it has its roots in Africa and in American slavery. The first "tap" dancer (the word wasn't applied to the dance until the 20th c.), William Henry Lane, danced his way to fame and fortune in the 1840s. He combined Irish clog dancing with African Gioba dancing, threw in some other stuff (there's whole books on this) and won over America with his explosive new dance style. He traveled the country in Minstrel shows, the first black performer to do so, and won more dance contests than anyone else. He was hugely famous and they named before you knew it there was an entire dance style called "Juba Dancing" and Lane became Master Juba. Unfortunately, Juba died of exhaustion and malnutrition (historians think) in the 1850s. This seemed immensely unfair so I revived him for my first novel, The Lincoln Special. I meant for Juba to be a supporting character, but he got bigger and bigger. By the time I got to the second novel in my Kate Warne series Juba was carrying the book. Metaphorically of course.
So I'm back to tap dancing. Only with words, not shoe (which is good because words respect non-conformity). Lately I've been tap dancing my way through this darn book launch. Friday I was trying to build a template for my email list and discovered I need a banner. Crap. Another darn thing to learn. SO this morning I made a banner. BY MYSELF. Is it the best banner ever? Probably not. Is it mine? All mine? Yep. Now I gotta tap dance back to the darn email template and figure that out. After I finish my this blog. Tap, tap, tap.
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Thanks for reading!