An empty nest allows extra time for some potentially foolish decisions – like raising chickens, meditating or taking a hip-hop class, for example.

As we mature, our self-consciousness goes low as our impulsiveness goes high. We decide to do things that we might not do during our more relevant decades, like getting a tattoo or walking our dog in our pajamas.

If a friend told me that she had signed up for a tap dancing class, I’d be very polite and enthusiastic, but I would also hope that she would not go as far as inviting me to her recital. I think I’m busy that night.

It’s hard not to look upon the choice of an aging pal to start taking a tap dancing class without seeing it as just another desperate attempt to stay alive, upright and ambulating.

But here I am telling you about my decision to finally take a tap dancing class. It’s something I’ve wanted to try for years. I now own a pair of shiny-new tap shoes and a 10-class pass to Casco Bay Movers. It’s jazz hands all around, my friends.

Be happy for me because I plan on being the best tap dancer ever.


As it turns out, I am already great at tap dancing. I mean really, really great. I’m bigly and fantastic at tap dancing. I can hear an eight-count beat from a hundred miles away. Shuffle ball change step, shuffle ball change step and stomp.

I was born to tap and because of my natural ability to tap, I’m quite confident that I could also become president of the United States or have my own reality show or climb Mount Everest or become a movie star. Why not? After all, greatly begets greatly and then we become, well, terrifically terrific!

I’m already the best student in my class. And speaking of my class, it is a very good-looking group of people. I went around the room so I would know who the hell I was tapping with. There are some seriously bad senoritas in my class rocking their right to tap. If I weren’t tapping with these women, I would probably be dating them.

Tap is all about love and “love” is a fantastic word and I know words. “Love” is the greatest word ever besides “beautiful” and “strong,” of which I am both.

The beauty of me is that I believe in me and my ability to tap. Don’t feel insecure around me when you see me tap. It’s not your fault. Shuffle off to Buffalo, one two three four five six seven eight, ball change.

Nobody has more respect for tap dancing than I do. Fa-lap, fa-lap, fa-lap, one two three four five six seven eight.


And women are the best tappers ever. Nasty women are unbelievably great at tap dancing. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.

Tap is winning. Tap is love. Tap is nasty. Let’s all hold hands and make a big wall of sound with our tap shoes and then life will be safe, secure and goodly.

Let’s make America great again, one nasty ball change after the other. Love and tap trump hate, and I just want you to be happy.

Jolene McGowan lives and works in Portland with her husband, daughter and dog and has no plans to leave, ever. She can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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