I am so thrilled to be able to share all of these cane tricks with everyone! It’s really a forgotten art and I just love it because it feels old-fashioned in the best sense of that expression. Using a cane can feel sleek and polished or light and whimsical and it is a great embellishment to tap dancing, adding all sorts of possibilities.
I am really a fan of the way John Bubbles uses a cane and I like the Berry Brothers, too, but I have to say that my hands down favorite cane manipulator of all time is Fred Astaire. Everything he does is so stylish and sophisticated and effortless and perfectly in time. We probably all know that dance Drum Crazy from the movie Easter Parade where Astaire goes into the toy store and distracts a little boy by singing and dancing and playing drums. At the very, very, very end of the dance Astaire begins making his exit. The dance is ostensibly over. What else could possibly happen? He picks up his hat and cane to leave and, in the last few bars of the whole number, whips out a series of cane tricks that are just breathtakingly spectacular and out the door he dances. It is fantastic!
Some modern dancers like the idea of using a cane but they just kind of hold it, put it under their armpit or on their shoulder, maybe tap it on the ground. This always leaves me incredibly unsatisfied. I mean, if you are going to bother to bring the thing onstage then use it, please!
We start the course Canes 1 – Manipulate the Cane with me explaining what type of cane to buy and where to buy it. Then we start learning the tricks. Soon I’ll introduce a few choreographies that incorporate tapping and cane tricks but this course is about getting used to manipulating the cane and I think people will find it really, really fun to work on!
Don’t worry about dropping the cane and don’t worry about breaking a cane. These things are guaranteed to happen. You know what they say: You can’t make an omelette without dropping a few canes!
Have a great time and write to me with questions and updates on your progress!