How our video on tap-dancing seminarian came to be

By Robert Duncan
Catholic News Service

ROME — 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.

Robert Duncan is a multimedia journalist in the Catholic News Service Rome bureau.

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17 Responses to How our video on tap-dancing seminarian came to be

  1. TLM says:

    Pathetic. No wonder the priesthood is held in scorn.

  2. Kathy says:

    Great job! We need more men willing to sacrifice their lives for us

  3. Absolutely astounding! Am so proud of this young man. You will set the world on fire somewhere in the future. Go for it. God bless. An American Nun working in Italy.

  4. morriec says:

    Speak for yourself. Priests sacrifice so much for so many. Dancing priests are cool.

  5. mariadevotee says:

    How wonderful that this young man decided for a life of service to us and the Church. I’m sure his fine talent will be useful in his Priesthood. Would love to see more of his tap dancing to some fun music.

  6. wilma says:

    God gave us all GIFTS and it is wonderful that David can share his gifts for all of us. Thank you David for listening to your heart. God bless you always.

  7. Greg says:

    So, does this mean that he’ll introduce liturgical tap dance in his parishes?

  8. elleblue says:

    TLM you need to loosen up a bit! How amazing that this young man is willing to give up a dream for a vocation! These men need encouragement not scorn by people like you?

  9. Mary says:

    TLM, please be a little more informative. What do you find pathetic about this? Why would you hold the priesthood in scorn because a talented young dancer decided to become a priest?

  10. hno3burns says:

    Nothing wrong with this!

  11. This is a great video. Thanks.

  12. Martin says:

    I assist at the TLM, and I think that this is a great video.

  13. Rev. Thomas Extejt says:

    I can remember tap-dancing my way through several oral exams in the seminary.

  14. El Padrino says:

    TLM your comment is pathetic. I guess watching Karol Wojtyła act would garner the same disdain? I think it shows courage to sacrifice a promising career, and other worldly benefits in order to follow Christ as a celibate priest or religious. We need more stories to fan a flame for more vocations. Thanks!

  15. Rose says:

    Very cool! He’s good! God bless him!

  16. Lawrence Love says:

    For the life of me, TLM, I cannot understand why you would characterize this young man’s talents, or this video, or whatever you don’t like, as pathetic!

  17. Adolescens de Canada says:


    Nos humiliemus. Nonne sacerdotium intellegis? Ludio se obtulit Dei pro nobis, sed obtulimus nos Dei?

    Praeterea, si ibit ad caelum nosque ibi non ibimus, quis est haec pellicula nobis? Non sinamus eam esse damnatio noster.

    Adolescens de Canada.

    Postscriptum: Google Translate should do a sufficient job of rendering the above Latin into English.

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