Tap Dancing

or…………. Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks   (but not as well as young dogs)

When I told my daughter that I was going to begin tap dancing lessons, she said, “That’s great.  Since you have NO rhythm, it’s very brave.”  That says it all, but I will still continue with details.

 It wasn’t my idea.  My friend Janna suggested that it would be good for our brains and a fun workout. Sure. The first class was great and I left feeling totally enthusiastic.  The teacher went faster during the second class.  I was lost for at least half of it and ready to quit for 45 out of 55 minutes. I was ready to cry but I paid 27 dollars for my tap shoes and I like the tapping sound they make, so I went back.  Before he started the third class, I asked him to go a bit slower. That helped.

 The main problem is that my daughter is right; I have no rhythm.  There are other problems as well: I get confused about left and right; I’m not graceful; I never took dance lessons; and I have trouble remembering even those steps that I learned last week.  When I look in the mirror in the studio, I look like an aging marionette, all stiff, jerky motions as if I’m being manipulated by an unskilled puppeteer,

 I practiced in Janna’s basement with a DVD starring Bonnie Franklin (does this prove how determined I am?) I was worse than ever during class 4. I practiced more, not only with Bonnie, who now feels like an old friend, but with another DVD. I improved during 5-7 (7 was stellar) by tapping around the basement when I did laundry but 8 was a disaster and I really felt awful.  About halfway through the year, I began to improve (not as much as everyone else but still…)  When I do okay, I am thrilled. Last week, I began year 2.

If you are an early career clinician, a professor who teaches interviewing skills, or a clinical supervisor, you will find my newest book, “What Do I Say? The Therapist’s Guide To Answering Client’s Questions” (with C. Waehler, published by John Wiley, 2011) a  practical, useful addition to your library.   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=what+do+i+say+edelstein 


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