AS CHILDREN, many of us will have gone along to dancing classes.
For me, I have bitter-sweet memories of ballet school but there is definitely a little fun and glamour missing from most people’s fitness routine spent pounding the treadmill hour after hour.
So when I was invited to try Victoria Maxine’s adult tap class at the Solihull Holiday Inn’s Motivation Health Club, I jumped at the chance with ‘jazz hands’ at the ready.
Walking into the beginners class, with a mix of ages from mid-twenties to late sixties, any nerves were instantly smoothed by the friendly instructor.
Breaking down the moves, the steps were surprisingly easy to pick up and, with Victoria’s boundless patience and encouragement, we ‘darlings’ had almost mastered a short routine by the end of the class.
And there is a huge feeling of satisfaction from hearing everyone ‘tap’ in time.
“I like to see at the end of the class they have learnt something,” said the former dancer and actress.
“Even if you’ve only learnt one thing, you have still learnt something.
“It’s good for the mind and body. You have to think and it uses co-ordination, and we have to have a bit of fun as well.”
Victoria has had a long career in the arts. After drama college, which launched a career in voice-overs and commercials, she moving into theatre reviews.
Yet dance always remained close to her heart and she had her own dancing school for children, as well as teaching dance at both the Birmingham mac and Birmingham School of Speech and Drama and choreographing for local theatre groups.
“My first love, of course, is teaching and teaching adults is completely different from teaching children.
“People have an idea about tap dancing, they think it’s just about making a lot of noise.
“There’s a lot of technique going on to make sure it goes correctly.
“Some of the members have danced before. What happens is that, a lot of people danced as children and then suddenly they think, ‘oh I wouldn’t mind doing that.’ It’s amazing how much you remember.”
Classes restart on May 21 with the advanced group, held every Tuesday at 7.30pm, and the beginners class, every Wednesday at 7pm, the following night.