What can justify the current trend for middle aged ladies of a certain body shape to take up tap dancing? What drives these women to throw age appropriate behavior to the proverbial wind and take on the coquettish demeanor of a Ziegfried Follies starlet – without the talent?
The answer: the modern privileged and middle aged female living in our gentrified Inner Northern suburbs is in need of attention.
Having worked full time in her chosen profession prior to having children she then – despite all her proclamations of being a feminist – creates a highly conservative model of gendered labor within her home. Hubby works full time and she either does not work or works part time. Working hours are carefully chosen to ensure she is available to collect her children after school and carry them to their various and compulsory activities. Invariably the ageing starlet works in a feminized role where she can legitimate her decision to relinquish all economic equality within her home by her low salary. Isn’t it dreadful that women are paid less than men?
But the children are getting older. They don’t need her time and attention to the same degree. They are gradually resisting the ideological framework she has imposed upon them since their birth. And she needs to fill the void. What better way to reclaim the validation associated with her (ever diminishing) status as a Yummy Scrummy Mummy than promoting her new found hobby – Happy Tapping!!
For the Happy Tapper is now an ENTERTAINER. She has rehearsals and dress rehearsals. She has performances. She is part of an energetic and fun dance troupe populated with women JUST LIKE HER!! But the greatest joy awaits – the ability to promote her concerts on social media and then upload the photographic evidence. Self-promotion simply doesn’t get better than this. An added bonus is that the Happy Tapper becomes a girl – again. She and her troupe of ageing follies are able to re-live their school musical years with aplomb. Without being held back by an audition process. They haul their middle aged bodies and Max Factor Pancake slathered visages through their routines – blissfully unaware that they are NAFF.