It was a warm August day, early on a Saturday morning. The year was 1989, and I was four years old. I was off to my first ever dance class. I remember going to a "special" store in Terre Haute the week before and picking out the perfect leotard to wear to class. I remember stopping at Payless Shoe Store on the way home and picking up my very first pair of tap shoes. And I remember my excitement and nervousness the day this picture was taken. Little did I, or my parents know that this day would mark the first day of my long journey with dancing and how many more early Saturday mornings there would be. .
The first day of lessons was filled with tapping my foot, and looking at my shoes to understand where my taps were and what noises they made. I began learning a sing and dance number the second Saturday of classes called "No Can Do." The second month of classes introduced a pleasant surprise, my cousin was joining my class and we were going to do a duet. A week later another girl joined and the three of us learned our first group dance. It was Pinocchio's " I Have No Strings." We worked and worked on that dance. My laundry room at home turned into my own auditorium, filled with people just waiting to hear me tap. I don't mean to brag or anything, but I was good. I kept overhearing my mom and teacher talking about how much "rhythm" I had and how my skill was above average. At four years old I decided I was going to be a famous tap dancer when I grew up. .
In June of the next year, and after I turned a big 5 years old, it was time for my first ever recital. The week before was filled with rehearsals and pretty costumes and debates on how we were all going to wear our hair. Finally Friday night came. The recital was in a huge high school auditorium and it seemed like there were thousands in the audience (I would later attend this high school) Everyone was there: my grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and parents.