i am playing loads of dance classes these days, about 9 or more a week. first of all, i love playing dance classes. well, maybe love is a strong word but the demands placed on the accompanist for these classes are all things that the musician (or any artist for that matter) must have at their fingertips. improvisation, creativity, strong time sense, connection with sound, with other dancers, with the essence of the movement…..these are all things that as a drummer i need to have honed and ready.
playing dance class, particularly for peggy baker (whose accompanist i have had the good fortune to be for over 6 years or so now) is a great way for me to keep fit—physically, musically, mentally and spritually. listening to peggy speak about dance and the creative process is one of the biggest influences on me as a musician and on my approach to creating. i am very fond of saying that i would not be half the musician i am today without my many years of accompanying dance class.
but man my hands hurt. i’m not getting any younger.