Country Dancing

Learning A New Language


For anyone who has never taken a line dance class, there are many different reasons to try one. You will be hooked, once you get past the language “barrier” of learning how all the new words translate into various steps. Line dancers understand what to do when an instructor says any of the following: grapevine, hitch, sailor step, rocking chair, weave, coaster step, rock recover, pivot, shuffle step, or ball change. Those are just a few examples; there are so many more! Understandably, when a beginner takes their first line dance lesson, they’re confused and think they have entered into a world with a new foreign language. They actually have, but it becomes easier with every lesson.

My dance career began in my youth with classes in ballet, tap, and jazz. In my teens I was an assistant teacher and then was hired as a teacher/choreographer, which lasted a few decades. In the early 90’s the mother of one of my dancers asked if I knew anyone who taught “line dance.” I replied that I would look into it and added “how hard can it be, all you do is repeat yourself.” To this day, those words ring in my mind when I have trouble remembering a new dance! My journey as a line dance instructor began in a Western PA middle school teaching 7th & 8th graders, then adult classes at the local Y. From there it was adult continuing education at another high school and local college, then on to different restaurants and bars in Northeast Ohio.

If you are interested in learning how to line dance, I suggest you start with a beginner class where you can learn the new language of line dance steps. If you’re shy, either bring a friend or practice with some online tutorials to build your confidence. There are so many different dances, and there are different levels from beginner to intermediate to advanced. A basic one to start with is the very first line dance I learned to the song “I Feel Lucky” by Mary Chapin Carpenter. I still teach it occasionally, it’s called the Wild Cat Strut. (Click here for a link to the step sheet). So give it a try and take a line dance class to have fun and learn a new language!

Dori Yez teaches Country Line Dancing on Mondays at Rolling Mills Bar in Girard, Ohio; Wednesdays at Social 45 in Lisbon, Ohio and Fridays at Yankee Bootleggers Saloon in Brookfield, Ohio. Stop on out for a class, you will be glad you did! For more information, check out the clubs Facebook pages.

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  1. Kathleen

    February 1, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Wonderful article! Best thing I ever did was take my 1st line dance class! 4 yrs later each week is more fun than the last.

    • Dori

      February 2, 2018 at 10:58 am

      So glad to hear from you, Kathleen, and happy you enjoy line dancing!!

  2. Elane J

    February 1, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    I’ve been taking line dance lessons from Dori Yez for about 10+ years…One of the best dance instructors out there! Her love for dance shows out on that dance floor. She has a knack to teach somone who doesn’t have clue what they are doing to showing them they can do it. I’ve taken lessons here and there from other instructors but always end up back at Dori. She can break down any dance no matter how high the experience level is and makes it fun at the same time! She will repeat a step no matter how many tines it takes until you get it. If you have a chance to get to one of her classes I highly recommend you do it, you will not regret it- you will be hooked! Awesome article, Dori!!! Congrats!!! Can’t wait to read more of your stories and see ya on the dance floor!!

    • Dori

      February 2, 2018 at 10:59 am

      You have ALWAYS been the best “dancing billboard” for me, Elane! Thank you so much for the kind comments!!

  3. Tiffany d

    February 2, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Dori is hands down the best instructor in the area. She is patient and teaches the dances from start to finish so that you understand. We have been taking line dance lessons with Dori at the different locations that she is at all around the valley. Highly recommended. If you haven’t seen her dance your missing out! She is a natural!

    • Dori

      February 2, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      Thanks, Tiffany, for supporting my classes and the sweet compliments!

  4. Sabrina

    February 2, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    My first line dance lesson ever, I was frusturated and confused. I had no dance background and just wanted to line dance but I refused to go back. Then about a year later I took one of Dori’s lessons, this was five or six years ago. Dori made eveyone feel welcome, even learned everyone’s name and she broke down the dances and steps so everyone understood. I was still kind of shy and lacked self-confidence but I would go for Dori’s lesson. I would choose a spot on the floor that I could easily escape if the dance was too difficult! And believe me, I did many times! But with Dori’s instruction, she built my confidence and dances became easier to understand and learn. Now, I feel I can learn just about any dance I set my mind to.

    My initial reason for wanting to dance was to find a past time to relieve stress. With Dori’s help, I found that stress release but I also gained more. I found a favorite past time, met some wonderful people who have become friends, and I gained an amazing friend in Dori! Not to mention the exercise and memory workout!

    If you haven’t line danced, take that step and come learn…anyone can if they want to and the rewards are endless! Thanks Dori for all the lessons and so much more!!!

    • Dori

      February 3, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      Sabrina, I’m honored to be the teacher that started your line dance journey and happy to call you my friend! Thanks for sharing your story here!!

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