MS. EVIE SCAB - MS. EVIE'S TAP SCHOOL/ THE ITCHY SCABS
I grew up in the western suburbs of Melbourne. I started learning tap, jazz and ballet when I was five years old at The Carol Fairy School of Dance in a grungy Scout Hall in Footscray. My favourite teacher was Miss Tammy who had calves of steel! When I was twelve I chose to leave the school - mainly because 80s high cut leotards were on the horizon -and instead embrace Punk Gothdom.
I misspent my youth dancing in my bedroom, then later, in Goth/Indie nightclubs and pubs where I learned the Goth two-step and ska dancing. It wasn't till I was 23 that I discovered my true love of tap dance at Miss Lou Lou's Tap Dance Academy. This school showed me how liberating and fun it is to combine kitsch, retro glamour with noisy, high energy dance.
Sadly, straight after high school I wasted a few years studying art.
Living in Melbourne got me down, I was becoming more anxious about working to pay exorbitant rent every month. Living in a country town where AC/DC headlined the 1971 State Festival clearly seemed like a great idea! Less work, more rock.
Over my ten years living here I've certainly noticed changes in the region.
I have many dance heroes including Eleanor Powell, Gene Kelly, Nicholas Bros, Tap Dogs, Toni Basil, BabyMetal, Helen Kahn (60s Hindi Superstar) and LadyBaby. I surround myself with stuff that inspires me: Heavy Metal, DIY costume tutorials, Trailer Park Boys, Paul Hogan, Survival Lily (YouTube), 80s QLD punk, Norman Gunston and especially John Lydon.
Ms. Evie's Tap School started in October 2012 with two classes (20 students). It has grown to ten classes (70 students). Truckloads of energy & commitment goes into making the annual tap show. Selecting the perfect song for each class, designing, foraging for and making costumes, spending the year on new steps, arm moves and stagecraft, sound and lighting design, heavy lifting, makeup and hair, ticketing, stage managing, etc.
I grew up watching my mum making amazing theatre props, craft and costumes out of stuff lying around the house. She taught me to sew a bit but I learned so much more from watching her make fake food, dance costumes and an actual size grandfather clock. It's no wonder I was inspired in my teens to make a frock out of real marshmallows.
I met my husband on an episode of The Love Boat. Now we both share a passion for anything Tiki. The Itchy Scabs were born when TB Scab and I realised that kids need punk now, more than ever! Supporting Kid Congo was a special gig for us, but playing on Wolfman's ute at Chopped last year was a dream come true! Geez he could drive!
Living in a small town, for me, has meant freedom to take the risk of starting a small business. Limited population to support a small business however could perhaps be difficult down the track. I'm hoping the school will continue to celebrate the freedom of expression, developing skills and the joy of being an individual.
My favourite things to do in the area: Archery at The Chewton Archery Club, steam train excursions on The Victorian Goldfields Railway, The Park Run, Show & Shine Hot Rod events and Chopped at the Newstead Racecourse.
For anyone who can afford to move out here, The Blue Sea Fish Shop make awesome fish 'n' chips.