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All The Glorias love tap dancing. Be a Gloria! Courtesy iMBD.com

In December, I watched a different holiday-themed movie almost every night. Except for the falling in the swimming pool part, I’ve always thought that the Charleston dance scene in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) looked fun, and except for the cheesy music, the Vaudeville-esque tap dancing in White Christmas (1954) is also quite enjoyable to watch. But am I doing tap dancing in real life? Hmm.

When I was a freshman in college, my ex-boyfriend had a little sister who had just started kindergarten. With no other sibling in between, she was doted on. She attended every kind of dance class, from ballet to jazz to tap. Adorned with baby jewelry and frilly dresses, she was the cutest thing, especially with those tap shoes on. Her mother decided to join the fun and took an adult tap class at the same studio. While she would practice for us at the house, there was no way she was going to do the studio’s end-of-season recital. She was way too shy. Nope.

I say all this to say: Tap sounds fun.

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With the holiday behind me, I’ve recently begun watching biopics. I already knew a thing or two about Ms. magazine publisher, activist, women’s movement icon, and general badass Gloria Steinem from watching the Mrs. America limited series last year. So, when I discovered The Glorias film last weekend, I thought, Oh, yeah. She likes to tap dance. If she can do it, maybe I can, too. We’ll see.

Like Ms. Steinem, if you want to experience life a little fuller — and get moving — Arts Fifth Avenue (1628 5th Av, Fort Worth, 817-923-9500) is for you. Located in Fairmount, A5A offers classes and workshops for children and adults on intro to dance, ballroom, swing, visual art, and yoga, but the primary focus is the celebrated American artform of tap dance. Beyond the one-time registration fee of $20, classes at A5A are $20 to drop in, $55 monthly for one class per week, $100 monthly for two classes per week, or $135 for a tap pass of 10 classes at ​ArtsFifthAvenue.org/Classes.

Occasionally, A5A will bring in celebrity guest teachers like Justin Boccitto. An international instructor currently on faculty at Broadway Dance Center and Marymount Manhattan College, he has taught Lady Gaga, Sean Fosse, and Sophia Anne Caruso and has appeared as a coach on MTV’s Made Show. He was even asked to teach tap to Stephen Colbert!

On Saturday at A5A, Boccitto will teach a Tap Class at 1pm (beginners) and 3pm (intermediate). The fee is $40 for the 75-minute class.

Celebrity instructor Justin Boccitto will teach tap at Arts 5th Avenue Sat, Jan 20.
Courtesy Justin Boccitto

A5A hosts dance concerts, live music, theatre productions, and art exhibits, too. Before committing to tap classes, maybe check out the facilities at a special event. One such opportunity is the 20th Annual Django Reinhardt Festival 6:30pm Fri-Sat, Jan 26-27, and 5:30pm Sun, Jan 28. This celebration of the life and legacy of the “King of Gypsy Jazz” includes three nights of live music, film, French ambiance, and a taste of French country cuisine. There will be performances by Marcelo Berestovoy & Amigos (Fri); Gypsy Moon, Francis Meaux Jeaux, Jimmie Dreams, and Katie Shore (Sat); and Kim Platko & String Theory (Sun). Tickets start at $45 at ArtsFifthAvenue.org.

Still not convinced you want to move your body rhythmically in front of other humans? Like my ex-boyfriend’s mom, if you’re going to dabble in this new hobby in the privacy of your own home and not make a public spectacle of yourself, pick up a pair of those TAPfits I’m seeing all over my Facebook feed. (I feel so targeted right now.) For $59, receive a pair of sustainably made taps that slip directly onto any flat-bottomed shoe. Or for $97, the taps come with six weeks of Learn to Tap online classes. Check it out at ShopTapFit.com.

Learn to tap dance at home with these slip-on taps.
Courtesy TAPfit

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