Must-see video of the day: a tap-dancing seminarian

Really!  Behold, the terpsichorean skills of David Rider.

From the good folks at CNS, here’s a description from Robert Duncan of how it came to be:

I briefly met David Rider two years ago in New York City while on retreat at the archdiocesan seminary. I was surprised to run into him on the streets of Rome last spring. He was wearing clerics and I gave him one of those “don’t-I-know-you-from-somewhere” finger wags. Since then, we’ve run into each other often, he going to and from class at the Pontifical Gregorian University and I all about the city with my camera, on the job.

I’m a lover of the old Fred Astaire movies and all the great show tunes of his day, so when I discovered that Rider had left theater to give his life to the priesthood, I asked him to talk about all that jazz on camera. I hope the video I’ve produced pays homage to both the quintessential American art form and to Rider’s vocation story.

Take a look.  When was the last time you saw a guy in Roman collar and tap shoes?

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  1. Elizabeth Scalia says:

    I’m a sucker for a tap dancer. I still love to watch Astaire and Kelly! And of course, Ann Miller and Eleanor Powell. More power to him!

  2. maybe teaching tap can be a part of his priestly ministry (inner city boys need an alternative to basketball)

    …I am a bit ‘jealous’- as a seminarian, he gets to wear clerics while the married deacons around here are forbidden to wear clerics (the nearest Roman-rite parish has 2 priests and 10 married deacons- serving 5000+ families) The deacons are desperately needed, but are not respected as clergy. Sorry to be a downer- The video was charming

  3. Fr. Larry Rice says:

    You usually only see that when we’re talking moral theology. ;-)

  4. Best thing I’ve seen online all week! Thank you, and God bless him!

  5. Catherine says:

    What a wonderful story — and he is a terrific dancer. I loved the part about how he was inspired by Pope JPII, who also loved the theater.

  6. A really nice story!

  7. This reminds me of just one little thing that I love about the Catholic ordained priesthood – there is such a bountiful and varied diversity of interests and talents and they all can be used for the Kingdom of God.

    I’ve been feeling a bit down … hasn’t been a good week. Thanks for the video. It made me smile.

  8. Glory to God for all things! Thank you for sharing this, Deacon!

  9. :)
    Good one, Father!

  10. Our pastor knows how to tap and has done so for a few!

  11. This made me smile. Thanks for sharing!

  12. It’s not like he wont be using his tap dancing skills in the acrchdiocese of NY-plentyof things to tape dance around.

  13. just kidding — ballroom is my thing.

  14. Betty Braun says:

    Thank you. I enjoyed the story and the performance.

  15. Stephen M. McMullen says:

    What? A Permanent Deacon cannot wear clericals? Here in the St. Louis Archdiocese they usually (agreed upon amongst themselves I think) clericals
    with a grey shirt. No one is stopping them from wearing a black one. Some
    of our Permanent Deacons even wear the cassock. It is all up to them.

    I remember when the permanent dioconate was started in the erstwhile Belleville Diocese, some priests would not respect them and ignored them. Bishop Cosgrove
    (may God rest his soul) told the refuseniks to get with the program or get out.

    What diocese is this you are talking about?


  1. [...] is a great story about a seminarian and dancing by Robert Duncan, brought to you by The Deacon’s Bench: I briefly met David Rider two years [...]

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