The inspiring true story of a woman who learned that it’s never too late to live the life you want.
young girl growing up in the 1950s in central Pennsylvania, Vicki Grubic
Riordan idolized stars like Shirley Temple and Gene Kelly. She soon found
her calling as a dance instructor, but like many baby boomers, she put
her passion on hold to focus on starting a family. Only when her marriage
ended and she was left with little means of support for herself and her
two young sons did Vicki return to her first true love: teaching dance.
In doing so, she found much more than a way to make a living: she found a
way to make a difference. With her exuberant personality, infectious
enthusiasm, and unwavering belief in the magic of movement to make even
the darkest times better, Vicki has inspired thousands of women to do
things they never dreamed possible.
At the age of sixty-two, when her peers were thinking about retirement,
Vicki opened the doors to what has become America’s largest adult tap
dancing studio. She has gone from teaching fifty students a year to
teaching more than five hundred, and thanks to Vicki, Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania, has become the unofficial tap capital of the world and the
home of her celebrated “Tap Pups.” The majority of the women (and a
handful of men) in her classes are in their fifties and sixties, but
instead of yielding to the expec-tation that they’d be slowing down at
this stage of life, tap has helped them to get in touch with their own
Tap helped Anni, 56, get through a difficult divorce with grace. It gave
Betsy a newfound self-confidence, and at 57 she was inspired to wear eye
makeup for the first time in thirty years. And when Jeanne, 62, was
diagnosed with cancer, the Tap Pups rallied to offer their full support.
Vicki’s students come from all walks of life: teachers, doctors, nurses,
lawyers, insurance agents, therapists, CPAs, retirees—married, divorced,
single, and widowed—but through dancing together, no matter their innate
talent or years of experience, Vicki’s Tap Pups have found a potent
source of friendship, vitality, and ful- fillment.
After years of putting everyone else first, these women know that now
it’s their time to shine. In Encore Performance, Vicki inspires readers
of all ages to listen to the beat of their own hearts and dance through
life as they were born to do.