I have mentioned, lately, that I’m in a play. My first real foray onto the stage in over 40 years. The day I auditioned for the Starlight Community Theater production of Company, my first task was to fill out a form. Question 1: Rate your tap-dancing skills on a scale of one to ten. The fact that there wasn’t a zero option had me seriously overstating said abilities, when I was forced to circle one.
I have managed to avoid the tap-dancing issue over the last few months of rehearsals, but with opening night approaching, I could no longer put off the issue. I needed shoes.
I was directed to Nathalie & Co. Dancewear and Little Things for my theater shoes – strappy-heeled numbers that prevent the noisy clomping inherent with regular heels – and tap shoes. It was, as one might expect, a shop awash in pink and ruffles and leotards. The frilly atmosphere jarred me, at first. As those who know me can attest, I am confident and secure on a football field or a baseball diamond, but in a ballet/dance store not so much. I flashed on one of those unfortunate moments long past when my mother forced me to take ballet. Following a performance, the phrase, “bull in a china shop,” was bandied about. My lessons were, mercifully, curtailed after that.
But my fears were quickly allayed by the lovely Miss Nathalie herself. After a brief look at my bare feet, she produced the perfect sizes on the first try. Though I argued with her, initially, saying the shoes would never fit.
“I’ve been doing this a long time,” she said, smiling brightly.
Though I’m apprehensive, I will bring my tap shoes to rehearsal tonight. I consider that the director has deftly placed me near fabulous singers throughout the staging, which, well, makes me sound great. But I don’t think the same strategy will work for tap dancing. Then again, in a brilliant move, the choreographer has given me exactly six beats of tap. Six. That’s it. However, as Albert Einstien proved, time is relative. Thirty seconds of a massage are vastly different than thirty seconds of root-canal surgery.
How will my tap-dancing stint go? I have no idea. Either way, opening night looms. If you want to see how it all turns out, join me and the rest of the Company cast members for two-weekends of performances beginning on July 20.
Anne Montgomery’s novel, The Scent of Rain, tells the story of two Arizona teenagers whose fates become intertwined. Rose flees into the mountains to escape from her abusive polygamous community where her only future is marriage to a man older than her father. Adan, whose only wish is to be reunited with his mother, is on the run from the cruelties of the foster care system. Are there any adults they can trust? Can they even trust each other? The Scent of Rain is available at https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780996390149 and wherever books are sold.