Country Dancing

Sorrow… and Progress

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This month’s article contains two stories: one of sorrow and the second of progress; both of them about young people who I was blessed to have as students in my line dance classes. After you read my accounts of their lives, please remember that life can change in an instant and never take anyone or anything for granted!

My first story starts a few years ago while teaching in Warren, Ohio; I was fortunate to have a mother and her teenage daughter attend my classes. I am always happy to have a parent introduce their love of line dance to their child; and this pair was a joy to teach.

This teenager’s sweet personality was infectious and she was never afraid to speak up when she didn’t understand a step. She wanted to learn and simultaneously have the most amount of fun possible while doing it. As she navigated her way through high school, extracurricular activities took over most of her time and, understandably, she couldn’t attend line dance class very often in recent years. Music was still first and foremost in her life, with singing and playing in band.

She was in her senior year of high school with a bright future ahead; tragically she was in a fatal car accident a few weeks ago. Taken far too soon, Savannah was a daughter, sister, niece, singer, musician, and wore many other hats; to me, she was a line dancer. My heart goes out to her family and friends; may she rest in peace.

My second story also starts a few years back, this time while I was teaching in Yankee Lake, Ohio. I met, taught, danced with, and have stayed in touch with a lot of people from those fun “Bootleggers” nights. One young man, Chris, always made a point to attend my classes when he could, and we always had a great time line dancing there.

Last summer Chris was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle and was involved in a horrible accident caused from a vehicle running a stop sign. He’s had multiple surgeries, was confined to a wheelchair, and went through exhaustive rehabilitation.

Recently I was pleasantly surprised to see Chris out for an evening; he smiled, walked up to me, and gave me a big hug. The first words out of his mouth were “I’m not able to line dance yet, but I’m getting there!” He showed me pictures of his bike from the accident; it’s a miracle he is not only alive, but walking on his own and looking forward to getting back into line dance.

“When things are bad, remember: it won’t always be this way, take one day at a time. When things are good, remember: it won’t always be this way, enjoy every great moment.”

Dori Yez teaches Country Line Dancing on Mondays at Rolling Mills Bar in Girard, Ohio and at the Cortland Ohio SCOPE Center on Fridays.

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