Dance in the Line

Line Dance Culture

Dancing to a Live Band May 14, 2012

Filed under: Dance Talk — linedancenow @ 10:23 AM
Tags: , ,

Have you ever line danced to the music of a live band? It’s not your semi-predictable dance night of music.You’re not even sure if and when you will be able to dance. Maybe the band will play songs you know but if you really want to dance, you have to figure out what line dances you know can go to the song that is playing, To do this you have be able to recognize the beat of the music. It’s like a pop quiz!

Most of time when I’m dancing, I’m thinking about the steps or how I’m moving my body. I really have to force myself to forget all that and listen to the beat of the music. Doing dances to a different songs helps me listen the beat more than thinking about the steps and it’s a lot easier to relax and enjoy the dance.

The more obvious beats are East Coast and West Coast Swings. East Coast is a faster 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2 or Cha Cha Cha, Cha Cha Cha, Rock Step. West Coast is 1-2, 1-2-3 or Walk Walk, Cha Cha Cha.

Dancing to a live band may require a certain level of bravery. If you have your regular group of dance friends it isn’t scary to step out on the dance floor and dance. I am okay dancing if I at least have at least one other person to dance with. If I mess up, I have someone to help me find my place. If it’s a song I know really well and like a lot, I will dance by myself.

If you’re not able to dance because of the live band, have a seat, relax, and enjoy the music. There is another benefit. It give the opportunity to chat with your dance friends. Since you are usually dancing, this gives you a chance to get to know each other.


Transformation May 2, 2012

Filed under: Life & Dancing — linedancenow @ 10:28 PM
Tags: , , ,

My friend Mimi just completed a pottery class and has a collection of vases, bowls, and cute little-girl-tea-party-sized pieces to show off. As she showed me her handiwork, I was fascinated by the process of a mushy, gray lump of clay transforming into these beautiful objects. Seeing Mimi’s works enticed me to take the pottery class myself and I had visions of my own dinner set on the table and Christmas presents for everyone.   

This is my favorite. I like how perfectly round it is and the gold and green tones.

Her “ugly” pieces were still in the kiln which is the oven that bakes the pottery. She joked that I should stop by and see them when they were done and then maybe I wouldn’t want to take the class anymore. So I went with her to the studio and this is where I learned the kiln has magical powers.

I expected the kiln to look like a pizza oven, but this kiln was shaped like a giant vase with a lid. It holds multiple pieces and it is big enough for a person to sit inside. It takes 3-4 days for a project to bake and another 1-3 days for it to cool before the kiln can be opened. The kiln’s magical power is the ability to transform ugly things into something beautiful, hence my friend being shocked by her ugly ducklings.

This was inspired by a poppy flower. I think it looks like a sea urchin too.

This vase cracked and she covered it with more clay
which distinguished it from a perfectly smooth piece.

Whenever we dance we are transforming ourselves like works in the kiln. I can practice the difficult part of a dance over and over and not be satisfied with the results. Then I try it the next day and it’s much better. Or there might be a dance that I don’t get very well because it is too advanced but when we cover it again a few months later I find my steps are crisper, I can move my hips more, or it’s just so much easier to remember the steps.

So for those things in life that seem ugly, I guess we never really know when they will transform. We just have to keep dancing and expect something beautiful to happen.

Best in Show


Keep On Movin’ Keep On Groovin’ – Saying Goodbye to a Friend April 21, 2012

Filed under: Life & Dancing — linedancenow @ 10:13 PM

My friend, Margarita Verano, passed away last week. She was like a big sister to me in high school. Her sweet, soothing voice could always comfort me when I was upset. We had lost touch but reconnected on Facebook last year after our alumni newsletter posted an update about her. She suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident two years ago and lost the use of her legs.

Margarita battled for her life in the hospital for months after the accident, but she learned to adapt upon her release. She felt alive again while on a kayaking trip with other patients and decided to encourage people with disabilities to remain active and try new things. In 2011, she was crowned  Ms. Wheelchair USA Colorado which is a contest that promotes glamour, self-confidence and community service for women with disabilities. Margarita also completed a yoga instruction course and continued to participate in the things she loved through adaptive activities.

In life we have to learn to adjust, whether we initiate the change or it is thrust upon us.  Margarita had difficult and lonely moments but she chose to remain positive and motivate others.  She also kept on doing the things she loved even though it took much more effort. Just like learning a new dance, it’s always awkward at first but with repetition it gets easier to recall the steps and be graceful.

I love when I master a dance I was struggling with before. I feel like I’ve crossed over to a higher level. This is in memory of Margarita who has crossed over – I hope the dance is easier now.

Starting A New Life After Spinal Cord injury Margarita’s Inspirational YouTube Video

SCI Surprise Margarita’s Blog about adjusting to life and her excitement for returning to recreational activities


My Fantasy Line Dance Playlist April 11, 2012

Filed under: Dance Talk — linedancenow @ 9:35 PM
Tags: , , ,

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could make our own playlist of dances? We could pick our favorites and dance until we’re out of breath. These are my favorites. Would any of these be on your fantasy playlist?

Bobbi with an I by Rachael McEnaney – Someday I’ll stop confusing the kicks with Askin’ Questions.
Alabama Slammin’ – Another example of Rachael’s awesomeness.
Barefoot and Blue Jean by Lisa Johns-Grose – Cool song, cool dance and Lisa always posts amusing things on Facebook.
Slingin’ Mud by Guyton Mundy & Will Craig – One day I’ll be able to do Guyton’s arm movements.
Swingin’ the Line by Vikki Morris and Something Crazy (Why Wait) by Wes Smith – It’s just fun to be spinning around and around.
Moves Like Jagger by Bracken Ellis Potter – I can’t stand still when I hear this song.
Stuck Like Glue by Lisa Spangler – My very first favorite dance. This was the first one I practiced at home.
Big Ole Flirt (Nothing to Lose) by Andi Mucklow – It keeps me humble, I still don’t really know this and I fake it.
Put You In A Song by Peter Metelnick & Alison Biggs – Another one of my original favorites.
Shake it for Me by Larry Bass – My current favorite dance.
Singalong by Kenny Henley – Kenny should have a line dance genius shirt.
Wipeout by Susan & Harry Brooks – Forward sailors??? I finally almost have it!
Stronger Peter Metelnick & Alison Biggs – It’s new, fast, and hard. What can be better?

What songs would be on your list for line dance bliss??

Thanks for stopping by,


April 10, 2012

Filed under: Dance Talk — linedancenow @ 6:06 PM

5-6-7-8 Dancing My Way to a Healthy Me!

Dance with Dollar Signs on Boots ©In some of my posts I’ve mentioned as an aside, that competitive dancing is not cheap.  Because of that, a couple of the readers of this blog have emailed me to ask “Just how much does it cost?”   To which I must answer, dearest readers, without qualification, and without my usual drama:

“A lot!”

I.  Am. Not. Exaggerating.  This wonderful exciting, fulfilling, passion is very expensive.

But it doesn’t haveto be expensive, at least not at first:

  1. I am a competitive dancer  and I’m working hard to progress to a point where I can “Turn Pro” meaning that my costs are on the high end of a cost spectrum which actually begins at almost zero.
  2. For someone just starting, who is curious and just checking out “this whole dance thing”  it is possible to start with little or no cost.
  3. And most importantly, the…

View original post 5,131 more words


How I Started Dancing April 8, 2012

Filed under: Dance Talk — linedancenow @ 3:51 PM
Tags: , , ,

Leotards, tights, tap shoes, ballet slippers and spending two hours every Saturday at the Turning Point dance studio in North Miami – this was my childhood. As I neared the teenage years and wanted to try other things I still practiced on my own and choreographed my own dances. One of my dances was to Opposites Attract by Paula Abdul. I’ve always enjoyed dancing.

The next opportunity to dance came in ninth grade. I met my closest high school friends by chance. We all landed at the same lunch table on the first day of school. We were a shy bunch and for the first few months Thursdays were the only day we actually had conversations because we would talk about what happened on 90210. Everything changed because of PE. We were assigned to choreograph a dance and perform it in class. Five of us met at Debbie’s house one weekend and created a dance to Janet Jackson’s Escapade. The dance was the catalyst for the many weekends and sleepovers that we shared throughout high school.

The first time I visited Round Up was about six years ago. I went with a friend from work and for days prior to going we cracked jokes about meeting cowboys there. I wish I could remember what I expected Round Up to be like. I didn’t listen to country music then and I had never seen Urban Cowboy to know anything about line dancing. What I do remember is seeing everyone dancing and wondering how in the world they knew the steps to so many dances. I tried mimicking the dancers movements from my bar stool to see if I could figure it out, but it was a lot to absorb. Every song had its own dance!

A few years later, the firefighter calendar signing brought me back to Round Up. My cousins were visiting and we squeezed this event into our busy schedule of sunning ourselves at the beach and consuming large amounts of cheesecake. At Round Up we partied on ladies night and watched the firefighters strutting across the dance floor. I also learned a dance that night. It was for Kid Rock’s All Summer Long. Even though I danced when I was younger it was a challenge to get my feet to do what they were supposed to do.

I started going to Round Up more often after that and then I started listening to country music because I wanted to be familiar with the songs for the dances I was learning. And that is how I started dancing.


How did you start dancing?

Dance Recital-That's me on the right


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

Filed under: Dance Talk — linedancenow @ 12:00 PM
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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?


%d bloggers like this: