Dance in the Line

Line Dance Culture

What Did I Do Before I Started Dancing? March 17, 2012

Filed under: Dance Talk — linedancenow @ 12:00 PM
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I often ponder this thought because of how much time I spend dancing. And most of the time when I’m not dancing I’m thinking about it. I know I’m addicted, but there are far worse things to be obsessed with, right?

So here it is- what I did before I started dancing.

Golf: I’ll be honest I didn’t even consider this a real sport, but a guy I liked taught golf and invited me to his class. Much to my surprise I actually enjoyed golf. Every week on the driving range I became more aware of how to position my body to use the club to make the ball go where it was supposed to go. (It didn’t work out with the guy but we ended up becoming good friends.)

Painting: In one of my classes the teacher said that with practice anyone could learn the techniques for painting. I started to see this was true. There is so much room for creativity. You can paint impressionist scenes like Van Gogh or bright, happy characters like Britto. This is one of my paintings, it is an interpretation of Van Gogh’s Cafe Terrace at Night using a scene from a place near where I work.

Photography: I’m the bossy photographer who likes to make people pose. This involves making cousins pretend they are swimming in a wall sized painting of the ocean or kiss an astronaut suit statue. It’s important to stop and capture the moment though, don’t we all like to look back and remember the good times?

Dancing captures a little bit of each of these activities. It involves an awareness of your body similar to golf. Devoting time to practice to improve your technique and developing your style as with painting. And as we gather together to dance every week, sometimes I like to take a step back and admire the scene, my friends dancing beside me.

What did you do before you started dancing?


Dancing & Styling March 10, 2012

Filed under: Dance Talk — linedancenow @ 3:00 PM

We learned the following dances in class:

Alabama Slammin’ (If You Want My Love by Laura Bell Bundy)

Honkey Tonk Badonkadonk (Honkey Tonk Badonkadonk by Trace Adkins)

Hands Up (I Don’t Want This Night to End by Luke Bryan)

Alabama Slammin’ is one of my favorites dances. I learned this dance from the choreographer, Rachael McEnaney, last summer at a three-day line dance event in Orlando called Fun in the Sun. Choreographers attend these events to teach their dances and share tips to improve styling. Styling is spicing up the dance so you are using more of your body than just your feet.

Rachael’s tip was for the heel touches in the last part of the dance.

1. Touch your left heel and step together

2. Touch your right heel and step together

3. Lean back slightly like your stepping over a box with your left foot

4. Brush your right foot

Of course you could just tap your left heel again and not “step over a box”. But if you practice this and actually step over a box or small object the momentum of your midsection (center) makes it feel like you are on a carnival ride.

Honkey Tonk Badonkadonk was the easy dance. If your new to dance, this was your shot at learning something you might be able to show off to your friends. We might think if we know the steps to a dance we don’t need to do it in class. I like to do (most of) them still because when my feet know the steps I can focus on styling. For example, I am still trying to improve my balance with the double kick and three-quarter turn in this dance.

Hands Up is a modification of a dance called Goodbye Cha by Bryan McWherter that was choreographed to Out of Goodbyes by Maroon 5 and Lady Antebellum. The steps were changed slightly to make the dance easier. The challenge in this dance is to actually put our hands up in the air when Luke Bryan tells us. It’s not hard in theory, but as line dancers we tend to focus on our feet and we don’t use our arms. Using our arms makes it easier to balance and turn and makes our movements smoother, easier and more graceful.

What do you think of these dances? Were they easy, hard, fun?

If you learned these dances last year, were they easier to get this time around?


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