Dance in the Line

Line Dance Culture

Do line dancers need to use their arms? September 26, 2012

Filed under: The Dancer's Body — linedancenow @ 2:22 PM
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When we start attending dance classes it can be frustrating realizing how little control we have over our bodies. We use out bodies to perform actions all day, why can’t we do the steps the instructor is calling?

When we start walking as toddlers we had to learn how to use the different parts of our body together to master walking. It was also the same with driving. After years of driving we don’t have to think about which pedal to press to stop or go anymore.

As we dance more we gain awareness of how to move our bodies to music. As line dancers we tend to focus on our lower body, but the really great dancers use their entire body, either for movement or for control.

When I started line dancing two years ago, a friend teased me that my arms hung beside me like a Riverdancer. Even though this was true I had enough trouble controlling my feet and figuring out which direction to turn, I didn’t have time to think about my arms.

However, if we observe other dancers we’ll notice that most of the graceful dancers, at the very least keep their arms bent at their waist. This helps because our upper body isn’t being pulled down, we are holding ourselves up. It also helps with steering and makes our turns graceful.

And in the cases of the real Riverdancers, they use their upper bodies for stability as they move their lower bodies. Just like how we may firm up if we are carrying a baby or a fragile package.

Once our feet know what they’re doing, we can take our dancing to the next level by concentrating on another body part. This can also make line dance class more interesting when the instructor is teaching a dance we already know.

Have you gained greater awareness of your body since you have been dancing? Has anyone pointed out a change since you’ve been dancing?


The Dance Family July 3, 2012

Filed under: Dance Talk — linedancenow @ 12:21 AM
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The interesting thing about being a regular at a dance club is that there are other regulars. And whether you realize it or not, they become part of your life.

We have certain people we dance by on the dance floor. Maybe it’s the people we rely on who know the dances, or we like their styling, or they are the people we have been attending dance classes with. Over time, we get to know each other and the depth of the relationship can range from saying hi to each other at the bar, to sitting together at the club, to celebrating birthdays together, to becoming friends that even do non-dance activities together such as attending concerts, going out to dinner, and going on road trips.

Dancers get to know each other in different ways. I like to watch how others dance and I will compliment them or ask for tips. Friendships develop with the people we regularly sit near as we protect our sacred shared territory from ‘outsiders’. Some people are more outgoing and they initiate conversations. They are warm and friendly and greet you with a hug and a kiss. Others may see that you are new and will try to help on the dance floor because they love dancing and want you to love it too.

There are some people you may be in the company of a few nights week for YEARS and never speak to them. But if they’re not at the club for a while you miss them. Or you may not even realize they are missing, yet when they return it hits you that something wasn’t quite right before but now it feels like the family is back together again.

When we dance we come together–whether it’s two, ten or fifty of us. We are connected. A bond forms as we spend time dancing, because we all share passion for this crazy hobby that slowly takes over our lives.


Dancing to a Live Band May 14, 2012

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


My Fantasy Line Dance Playlist April 11, 2012

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


These Boots Were Made for Dancin’ February 27, 2012

Filed under: Dance Talk — linedancenow @ 6:20 PM
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Why do we love dancing in our boots?

The first time I wore my dancing boots, I remember dancing to “Somewhere With You”. I did a 3/4 turn and they whirled me around the room and suddenly dancing became even more fun.

Brown Stetson Boots

If you’re going to dance, you don’t want to get rubber bottoms. You want boots that will slide on the dance floor.

The sole on the left is smooth and ideal for dancing, the sole of the boot on the right is rubber and will not slide so it is not good for dancing.

My First Pair of Boots- Ariats - pretty but not functional.

Black Nocona Boots- These are my favorite, I prefer dancing in these low heels now.

Tell us about your boots: Are you the Imelda Marcos of boots? How did you find the perfect pair of boots? Do you have any tips for breaking in or taking care of your boots?

What advice would you give to someone who is about to buy their first pair of boots-where to buy them, your favorite brand, etc.

Post pictures of your boots on Facebook for the DanceintheLine Boot Gallery.


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