I have mentioned several times in previous blogs that my FitTAP class has been a life-saver in the sense that as I teetered on the edges of insanity during the hellish months Michael's seizures were out of control, dance helped me to regain and retain my footing. The positive energy, the concentration necessary to know what's coming next and what direction to turn, the indomitable spirit and joy of my teacher, the music---from show tunes to jazz to the 60's and 70's songs which take me back in time to high school and college days to today's current hits. It's at once invigorating, challenging and great fun. And yet, it is so much more.
I never dreamed as I clung to the corner edge of the dancefloor trying to hide behind someone, ANY one, during my first class several years ago, that I would so look forward to each and every class not just for the exhilaration of the exercise and the joy of dance but to be among an extraordinary group of women.
Today I had lunch with three of the women who tap beside me, behind me or in front of me several times each week. For about a year we have managed to have these lunch outings every month or so depending on schedules and life occurrences. As we sat at the cozy table in an outside café today, we were surrounded by people quietly engaged in conversation. We, on the other hand, were chortling loudly as various life moments were shared. And... it's not as if the recollections were deliberately funny. Two of us talked about incidents at a beloved parent's funeral. And yes Aunt Kathleen, you and you-know-who figured prominently in my shared moment!
My Mom says you should make new friends each decade of your life. She did just that. The friends she made after my Dad died when she was 67 remain close and are key people in her life as she nears her 90th birthday. I'm closing in on 67 myself, and I can only hope that my Tap girls and I are blessed with a long life like my mother and that our dancing days and lunch dates are numerous. I have to admit that after two quite close friendships abruptly ended in the past several years, I thought I'd never embrace my mother's philosophy. I'll also admit these special ladies have changed my mind. So... to my Mom---thanks for the sage advice.
As for my very special tap class---well...it has indeed been a life-saver, but it's been a life-changer as well.. The lessons I have learned are many, but the most important one may be: find something you love to do and embrace it. 5-6-7-8 Go!