STEP IN TIME
By Anne Harris
I’ve always enjoyed dancing and have done ballroom, salsa, ceroc, tap and ballet over the years. Back then my opinion of line dancing was amusement, visualising cowboy hats and boots with shouts of yee-haw, an image that is still held by most people today.
The turning point came when I retired and my partner passed away shortly after. Finding myself with time on my hands, I scoured the local paper for clubs to join and found a beginner’s class in line dancing about to start up nearby. It seemed perfect to fulfil my love of dancing but that I didn’t need a partner for. I took to it like a duck to water and loved it from the very start.
Having joined a local class, I instantly found myself with many more friends. The classes are great fun and no one judges you if you go wrong. We just laugh and call it ‘personal styling’! After a while I was ready to start going to socials where I made even more friends as upwards of 70 people could be on the dance floor. Most socials would have live music to dance the evening away to.
Line dancing originated in America when immigrants brought their folk dances with them. These transitioned into country dances from which line dancing evolved in the ’70s and ’80s. Dances were initially only set to country music with dancers wearing cowboy type outfits. This style of dancing drifted across the Atlantic in the ’80s and ’90s. But around the year 2000, dancers here started to dress more casually and increasingly pop music was used to choreograph dances. Within modern line dance, there are a variety of different genres which include Irish, Latin and pop, although there is and always will be a hardcore of country and western.
Line dance has developed its own terminology and consists of a series of steps most commonly of 32 or 64 beats long. This is then repeated facing a new direction. Dances themselves have become more complicated. Part of the enjoyment is not only the dancing itself but also the process of learning the steps to each dance. I feel it helps you to stay mentally, as well as physically fit. But having said that, there are dances suitable for all levels from beginners to intermediate to the more advanced. Whatever suits you, there will be a class to fit. Of course, at the moment, depending on when and where you read this, many classes aren’t running at the moment so some teachers have moved their classes online. But whether online or to find classes in your area, further information can be found on this website – ELD – Everything Line Dance | Line Dancing for Everyone
As you can see on the above website, line dancing is now worldwide. There are dedicated choreographers for new dances who post their new dances on this and other websites. All the dances have specific titles so once a dance is learned, you could dance the same dance with line dancers anywhere in the world.
Line dancers are one big community, your friends are worldwide.