Midstate woman helps others tackle tap - abc27 WHTM

Midstate woman helps others tackle tap

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - A midstate woman has danced her way into the hearts of many. She runs a tap studio in Cumberland County that's really taken off. For her and her students, the class is about much more than dance.

Some say life is like a dance, but in the case of Vicki Riordan life is dance.

"It is so much fun for me to see people get enjoyment out of what I've loved since I was 3 years old," said Riordan, "It's really funny. Every time I was down in life, when I was going through my divorce I went back to dance, when my kids needed me I went back to dance."

Born in Steelton, Vicki's always had a passion for dance. She even opened her own studio after graduating high school. Then, she met her husband. As with many women of her generation, she had a difficult choice to make. "As everybody's trained back then you get married, you have children, and the woman doesn't really have much of a career so I gave my dancing up," said Riordan.

However, the marriage didn't last. Now Vicki was a single mother, and needed to survive. She re-laced her dancing shoes, and never looked back. At the age of 62, she opened a studio to inspire other women to follow their dreams. "Vicki's tap pups" was born.

"This is more than just a tap dance studio, it is a different lifestyle for everybody," said Riordan, "You lose your friends and you find them here."

She's found plenty of friends.

"I think she's awesome," said Jacqueline Granite of Enola, "She's a wonderful woman, she has a wonderful life. And she gave old people like me a chance to exercise and have fun."

What started as just 50 students has now grown into more than 500.

"Get off that couch, get off whatever you're doing," said Colleen Weaver of Palmyra, "Make the time because once you start something like this you get hooked, you just get hooked."

It's now the largest adult tap dancing studio in the world. "Harrisburg is the unofficial tap capital of the world," said Riordan, "How cool is that!"

These women say Riordan has showed them it's never too late to do what you love.

"I sat on benches watching him do all his things, and when he got older it was an opportunity for me to do what I wanted to do," said Cindy Kuentzler of Camp Hill.

"It's like pinch me," said Riordan, "There's nothing you take for granted, nothing."

Riordan says the real reward is the feeling she gets watching her pups succeed. "If i can do that for one person can you imagine what they do for me, I get it back," she said, "I am the luckiest dance instructor in the world."

You can see the Tap Pups perform for yourself. Their big spring show "Tapalicious" is coming up on Saturday, May 31st at the Zembo Shrine in Harrisburg. Tickets cost $20.
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