Friday, February 10, 2012

Tappin' on the West Bank

This is Heidi. She teaches an adult tap dance class on New Orleans' West Bank.

She has a small, but loyal, group of middle-aged students who meet one night a week at a New Orleans Rec Center, trying to learn this classic American dance technique.

Heidi is a professional tap dancer, performing and competing with a national, touring troupe, Jump Rhythm Dance Project.
Still, she's attempting to teach several people with little dance experience the basics of rhythm and style.

The first class night, I arrived in sneakers, thinking we would not need taps right away, but there was a collection of donated shoes to borrow. So, now I have a pair of shiny white, patent leather dance shoes with tiny straps. I have to wear little socks so the shoes don't dig into my ankles.

Aren't I the cutest with my little white shoes and socks? They do not have the big, heavy metal taps, so I make a shuffly sound instead of the loud, commanding TAP!

Here's a video of Heidi dancing to Fred Astaire's "Top Hat."

Heidi has already taught us one dance routine to a tune sung by big band crooner, Michael Buble. Last weekend, I ventured: I don't suppose there is a recital? And, of course, there is. Our class will perform at Dixon Hall on the Newcomb College campus at the end of the season.


  1. Thank you for sharing! My girlfriend and I are trying to find an adult beginners' tap dance class here in New Orleans, but we are having a tough time. Is Heidi still teaching? Do you know of any other beginners' tap dance classes in the city?

  2. Unfortunately, I think NOBA/NORD cut its adult tap class - although you might check to see if it has been restored in the fall. Try the Off Broadway Dance Studio at 8125 St. Charles Avenue at Riverbed. NOLA Jitterbugs offers tap lessons and a class for chorus girls that involves tapping! I believe Heidi is doing choreography for a theater group now. Good luck

  3. Anonymous, I just found a new adult tap class. It will start in July in the Healing Center - 1 p.m. Sundays. Taught by another Jump Rhythm instructor, Laur Sicighano - 312-073-8934. $10!