Often in ballet classes, teachers shush talkative young students by explaining that Terpsichore, the Greek Muse of dance, was mute. "You don't talk while you're dancing!" they admonish.
Indeed, dancers are usually in the limelight for their visual artistry; yet a number of dancers who were interviewed expressed strong opinions about the musical aspects of their endeavors as well.
Long before he danced professionally with Erick Hawkins, James Reedy played percussion at the Chicago Dance Center--a place he called "the essence, the highlight, of what was going on in modern dance in that city."1
"They gave me an hourglass drum and asked me if I could accompany a class, because there was an accompanist that did not come. I did it, and the woman who was teaching the class said 'You're terrific. Why don't you accompany my class from now on?' So I did, but I got so involved with the dancing, that I started studying dance myself," said Mr. Reedy.
Then followed many years of learning Balinese styles, ballet, and jazz dance-- all on top of finishing law school. However, explained Mr. Reedy, he had been in athletics all his life and had some conditioning which helped his dancing. But this performer really did get involved with dance initially by drumming for it. "Yes!" he confirmed. "In fact, after I accompanied that first class, I joined an Afro-dance class, where I learned how to dance and drum on the congas at the same time. That was my main thrill. I wanted to be a percussionist."
All this explains Jim Reedy's lively studio entrances--by way of the drum sets--before rehearsals with the Hawkins company. Nowadays he can com-