YouTube is great for many, many tastes. Finding that music video or movie trailer you just have to watch a half dozen times in a row, marveling at a new scientific discovery, watching supercute animals do something supercute…and it can be used as a sort of time machine. By mood, on a whim, the product of obsessive trawling for perfection in all its guises, a world of visual coolness awaits. Today I started looking through Fred Astaire videos on a whim.

Dancing on the ceiling and in the midst of firecrackers, tap dancing with Eleanor Powell and ballroom dancing with Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire is always elegant, slightly selfdeprecating perfection. And then there’s this performance .  He’s also apparently a talented drummer. I came across this clip from A Damsel in Distress, and was wowed. What an awesome performance! Drumsticks and shiny shoe tips do their thing on the drums, interspersed with the staccato percussion of his dancing.

Three things kept occurring to me as I watched. One–What an incredible gift that man had. Two–How much he must have practiced to get that entire sequence so perfect. Three–Those drums were surely reinforced somehow to withstand so much kicking!

Fred Astaire. Dancing on air or kicking the heck out of a great big  drum set, he remains a phenomenon to this day.