DANCING WITH THE STAR gets 8/10 Tap tap tappin’ on heaven’s floor

Dancing With the Star – Movin’ With Melvin @ Perth Town Hall (for Fringe)
Saturday, February 10, 2018

8/10

As part of his week-long stint at FRINGE WORLD with two shows, A Man, A Magic, A Music – The Story Continues! and Chuck Berry Lives!, Movin’ Melvin Brown also hosts a tap workshop on two Saturdays. Melvin has developed a Tap Into Health programme, which is not only a tap dance workout but also a positive mental approach to life. On Saturday, the keen participants got a taste of just how it all works.

Melvin’s positivity is infectious, with a hearty laugh and patient approach to teaching us a few tap dancing moves. He started out with a rousing solo number, tapping and singing up a storm to inspire the punters. Next thing, we were all up and starting to put one heel-toe, heel-toe in front of the other. About half the people brought their own tap or dance shoes (I borrowed a pair from a friend), which is recommended but not necessary. As we learned from Melvin, it’s all about the percussive knock of the sole with tap dancing, so the harder the shoes the sharper the tap on the wood floors, and the easier it is to tap along to the music.

Most of the first half was simple rudimentary steps, with some tapping in tight circles to put our fancy footwork in motion. Melvin gradually threw in hops, timing taps and some other fancy steps over the next half, culminating in a little showcase at the end for us to bust out our new-found tap dance skills. To be honest, just the basics were difficult enough for this reviewer, but everyone was having a go and a laugh with Melvin’s encouragement, and I’m sure we all improved significantly given that most of us had never tap danced before.

The crowd was a mixed bunch, with a few experienced dancers, but also lots of kids and parents who had a great time. Dancing With The Star will be good for youngsters and the young-at-heart wanting to do something different for Fringe, and work out with real tap dancing royalty in Movin’ Melvin Brown.

PAUL DOUGHTY

Dancing With The Star takes place again on Saturday, February 17 at Perth Town Hall as part of FRINGE WORLD. For tickets and more information, visit the event page here.

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