Knowing When to Cut Your Losses or Let's Try Something Else

Over the years I've learned a valuable lesson about abandonment.  In tap, especially choreography, it's a good thing.  Sometimes, despite your best intentions, you just can't create choreography you love.  Sometimes you've spent hours brainstorming and have an incredible idea but when it comes to actually making it real, it just seems to flop.  When this happens you have two choices.  Keep going or scratch it and start anew.  Most times I think starting anew is the best way to go.

I remember I had a brilliant idea for a tap piece that would be done almost entirely behind a large piece of fabric.  To create visual interest, since you couldn't see the tappers' feet, I was going to have them use objects to push against the fabric to basically tell a story of sorts.  I spent many hours planning this and at our first actual rehearsal we gave it a shot.

Total Failure.

Due to a variety of factors the shapes were not at all distinguishable from the audiences perspective.  It went from brilliant idea to total flop in a matter of minutes.  I spent a little time thinking of how I could save it, but realized that in this case it was better to scrap it, which I did.

Best decision ever!

The song I was using was "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap with a back beat I had added to give it a little more oomph.  I decided to play off that title and have them popping out from the fabric and then hiding back behind it.  Sounds simple and cheesy but it actually read exceptionally well.  To this day I am super proud of that routine and so glad I made the decision to start anew.

So as I come upon my third week of working on a certain recital dance, once again I find I'm faced with the decision to keep going or start anew.  I think I know what I'm going to do.

Rod Howell


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