Savion Glover and The Magic Shoes

When I was still in college, my friend Kat and I met up at a tap and jazz concert on campus that featured Savion Glover. I knew very little about the concert, but I went because it seemed like a music event worth seeing and worth bragging about later. Years from that night, I could hold a champagne glass at a fancy dinner party and say with a twittering laugh, “Oh you don’t know Savion Glover? He’s the best tap dancer in the world. You simply must see his show in person.” Also, it was only seven dollars for a student ticket, so you know I’m there.

Since I never expect to find myself at a fancy dinner party and do any sort of “twittering” about anything, let me tell you about that night here. Savion Glover strode out on stage to thunderous applause and up onto a wooden platform, his footsteps already emitting clicks and taps from their metal tips. A white screen hung behind him, flooded with orange light. He said nothing to the audience, barely even acknowledged them. All he needed to do was tap, so he did.

For the next forty minutes, Savion Glover’s feet slammed, dragged, and exploded against the floor, his arms hanging at his sides, his long locs swinging from their bun.  Every moment we thought he would stop, forced to step down from pure exhaustion, he would keep going. Sweat poured down from his temples and drenched his shirt, but he kept tapping. Grunts and gasps of fatigue would escape from his lips but he never stopped. There were a few times where he would do something extra fantastic the crowd would hesitantly clap, expecting the show to be over, but he would not stop. Kat and I frequently exchanged glances, sharing awed whispers of  “damn!”

When he finally stepped down, the crowd rose to their feet. We whooped and whistled, a woman down below screamed, “Hell yeah, baby!” Savion smiled and bowed at his hip, somehow still standing after his performance.

I could never do what Savion does, very few can do what he does, but if I can apply an ounce of his passion to any area of my life I’ll be better off for it. We all would be. Any time I feel like I’m doing too much and I can’t take it anymore, I think of Savion and his magical feet. He kept going far past anyone expected him to. We would have applauded him for dancing for ten, twenty, thirty minutes. But he went on for that forty, because he knew that he could.


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