Once upon a time, a long time ago, when I was an intern at a New York City dance studio, I took a tap class with the guy who played the Billy Elliot in that amazing movie. For those of you who haven’t seen the move, go watch it. Right now. Seriously, this blog will still be here when you’re done crying over the credits.
He wasn’t the teacher or anything like that; he was just a student. A very silent student in the back row. The teacher knew him and greeted him subtly without ever saying his name. But me being the Billy Elliot obsessed person that I am recognized him instantly. I stood near him – cause you know, obsession – and tap danced while *hopefully* not staring at him too obviously.
To tell you the truth, he wasn’t actually that great a tapper. I mean, he was fine. He made sounds with his feet and all that jazz, but compared to the perfect Billy my little dancer heart had melted for in the movie, he was shockingly human.
I may have planned our wedding a few times during the class, and then toward the end, Billy fell. Unfortunately, not for me. His feet slipped out from under him, and he hit the floor. Since I had been dancing right next to him, I reached to help him up, and, for one glorious moment, our hands met. He muttered in his glorious accent, “Thanks.” And my heart stopped.
The teacher shouted, “From the top!” and the moment was over.
But for one brief, shining moment, I made eye contact with Billy Elliot while he was wearing tap shoes. And that moment was glorious.