Junior tap dancer clicks his heels to success

May 6, 2008 — by Maggie Lin

For junior Steven McClellan, it all started with a missed ballet class when he was 10. The nine year danseur (a male ballerina) and seven year tap dancer attended a tap dancing class for a makeup lesson and has continued it ever since.

“When [my mom and I] got in to do a makeup [class], we went to the lost and found, found tap shoes and I said, ‘Wow mom, these shoes make noise!’” McClellan said.

Seven years later, McClellan performs in a ballet show and four tap shows each year as well as several community theatre productions. Aside from performances, he also competes. Three weeks ago, McClellan entered the Starbound competition, a music and dance talent competition, where he won first for both his solo and duet.

McClellan did not get to where he is now without serious dedication. Besides regularly attending four-hour classes, he practices outside of class or watches YouTube videos of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly to learn their dances.

He enjoys practicing because “[it’s really fun] to just make all these different rhythms, different beats,” said McClellan.

Aside from McClellan’s impressive commitment to tap dancing, he’s also had a lot of fun over the years. In one of his first performances, he and a friend improvised during intermission when technical difficulties dealing with the projector and the music arose.

With all the experiences he’s had with tap dancing, McClellan hopes to continue his passion in the future.

“I’d like to continue this as a career but more likely I doubt it will happen,” said McClellan. “But if it does, I’d like to do something probably like own a studio and probably teach a tap class.”

McClellan’s most recent performance was on April 26 in the annual showcase Best of Tap explosion at King’s Academy.
The reason for his passion is easily summed up.

“You can pretty much do it to any dance and pretty much anyone can do it. I think that’s really cool if you can get a whole mass of people to do tap dancing. You can make this cool sound—music with it,” said McLellan.

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