For the past two months I have been teaching Kendra a young woman from the Philippines. She posted a comment – see below – about her experience in my tap classes. I have heard the expression that says, “when the student is ready the teacher arrives.”  My time with Kendra and our conversations about tap dance and the body connection to a divine feminine energy, makes me wonder about the reverse order, “when the teacher is ready the student arrives!”

Kendra’s absolute delight and willingness to step completely into learning has been a discovery for me as well. Finding words to express the more subtle qualities of sound, notes, playing one’s song, and how to enter that rhythmic landscape through the body has allowed me to give voice to my own inner musings of tap dance being a reflection of life.

Since February, when our long time love girl sadie died (our dog), I have been swimming in the dark pools of her eyes. Through that journey into loss and love I quite unexpectedly began wondering about the vastness of spirit, emotions, and the fluid form of change. It was only when I was teaching that I could feel joy echo from my feet and see it in the faces of my students. Those few hours a week of “happy” reminded me of sadie and the gifts given no matter the form. So I am grateful and sole-fully satisfied with life’s surprising orchestration of events, people and pets who have entered my life. Thanks Kendra. Keep tapping your song!

7 thoughts on “Musings”

  1. On Saturday, March 19, I was given the incredible opportunity to participate in a tap dancing workshop with guest artist Ellie Sciarra. I wanted to participate in this workshop because it related directly to my degree, Musical Theatre Performance. The theatrical world is looking for triple threat performers. I am confident in my singing and acting abilities, but I would hardly consider myself a dancer. From the moment class with Ellie began, the idea of inability went out the window. We were taught from the first moment that dancing is in our entire body. Ellie presented dance in a way that I’ve never thought of. She was able to broaden my horizons, which is something I desire in a learning environment.

  2. Annie Kozlowski

    I am a freshman musical theatre student with a minor in dance at Central Michigan University. Ellie came to our college this past weekend and let me say first and foremost it is a weekend I will never forget. The moment I walked into Ryan Dance Studio and heard the music Ellie had playing I felt the urge to just start dancing. I have been tap dancing for about 3 years and have taken various other dance over the past 4 years also. Dance is a huge passion of mine and I like to think of my passion for dance in a metaphor. I see it as a flame, when you feel really good about dance and are so excited and passionate about it the flame is so huge inside you and sometimes we get discouraged or just down, Ellie’s visit re-fueled my flame of passion for dance. I have had many dance teachers throughout my career and most times it’s hard to understand directions or for them to explain movements to students, Ellie is so understandable she explains things in a way that everyone will get and she takes the time to make sure every single person in the room knows how to do something. I really admire that in a teacher. I learned more in these workshops with Ellie then I have in 3 years of tap and that alone is amazing to me. It was so much fun to do and be a part of I am so glad I got the chance to participate. I think anyone and everyone would benefit from working with Ellie if they ever get the chance. She really cares about the people she is teaching. I talked to her afterward about pursuing dance and the different tap opportunities and she gave me so many good ideas and I am so thankful for her. I wish I could work with her on a regular basis. Ellie thank you so much for coming to our college and for all of your help. I really hope you can come back and that I get more opportunities to learn from you.

  3. Ellie reawakened in me a new passion for tap dance!

    I had been tap dancing for a few years and had gotten to a point where I felt I wasn’t advancing as much as I could or wanted. Then work brought me to Boulder for a few months and I found “Tap with Ellie” through the Internet. I think it was fate or karma or some kind of energy that drew me to her because after the first class, I was hooked! It was
    an intermediate class and I was missing steps (more
    than) half the time, but it felt so invigorated and
    excited and just so ALIVE!

    For 3 months, I attended both her intermediate and
    advanced beginners classes and even had a private
    session. Even when I was tired or stressed, tap
    class just picked me right up again.

    Ellie gave me a whole new way to understand tap dancing and how the movement should flow through my body and engage my body. She really goes the extra mile when it comes to teaching.She even found me awesome tap shoes!

    Hi, Ellie, I miss you already, and our tap classes
    and conversations in the car. But I believe you when
    you say that our paths will cross again (maybe in
    the Philippines)! Thank you for everything!

    Sole Stories is inspiring and I wish you the best of luck on your upcoming projects!

    (Hey it’s been exactly a year since your post on Musings…)

  4. HI there!! I just discovered your site the other day and love it. I, too, am a tap dancer. We share the same passion for tap. It was a pleasure watching your wonderful video’s. It really inspired me. Thank you,Ellie!!!

    P.S. I’ve wanted to tap since I was 2 yrs. old and cried because I wanted to be in my big sisters tap class and wasn’t old enough. Boy did I envy her white tap shoes. All I got was a hula skirt and maracas. (Well, ok, the maracas’ were kinda cool) but as I got alittle older I scuffed up all my black patent leather Sunday shoes trying to tap. One year I talked my mom into a pair of red patent shoes. They were my version of ruby slippers….if only they had glitter too. I wanted to be Dorothy…from the Wizard of Oz. But that’s when my passion for tap began…almost from the womb you could say… there anything more beautiful then the sound of taps tapping?! ahh….that sound grabbed me from the git’ go. I had to wait 25 yrs. before taking my first formal class. I’ve been going at it ever since.(25 plus years later)

    Ann, you made me smile….”Tinkerbell!!”

    It was nice reading everyone’s posts! thank you all-“kindred spirits.” And, again, THANK YOU, Ellie for daring to go for it, and make this site happen. 🙂


  5. Thanks for this awesome idea, Ellie! I am very excited to see that someone is tending the fire for the future of tap…especially women in tap. Thank you!

  6. Leslie Molaskey

    I wanted to thank you again. Your class yesterday was invirgorating and inspiring, like always. I had been looking forward to it all week, and it was exactly what I needed to push on through and make it through another week.


  7. What a lovely idea this is, Ellie! I have many stories to tell, but little time right now. Thanks for having the inspiration to do this. I am interested in hearing others’ stories about shoes. My first pair were gold, with large bows, and a couple of sizes to small. I wore them and danced on the sidewalk until my feet hurt so much my Mom enrolled me in a tap class. This was a big deal, as it was in the next town up the road (Stillwater, Minnesota) and she didn’t drive.
    I wanted to be Tinkerbell.


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