Country Dancing

The “Younger” Generation

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For this month’s article, I’m sharing three separate stories about my interactions while teaching line dance to the “younger” generation. In each circumstance, to experience their enthusiasm renewed my hope for the future of keeping line dance alive in this area.

Back in February 2018 when I wrote my first article for Cleveland Country Magazine, I gave a little background of my dance history, which included teaching youth ballet, tap, and jazz. One of my students from those days took my line dance classes when I was at Bootleggers. This past summer she came to my line dance lesson at Rolling Mills and brought her 13 year old step-daughter with her. This teenager didn’t know anything about line dancing; however, she was a very quick learner and if she didn’t understand a particular step, she would intently watch me until she mastered it.

After that initial lesson, this young lady was HOOKED and proceeded to practice at home in anticipation for the next lesson. She was so enthusiastic that she inspired my energy and both of them were a joy to have in class. She even told her step-mother she wanted to get cowgirl boots! I miss having them attend, as the young lady was only in town for a short time and went back home with her mother. I’m hoping I’ll see them both over the holidays if she comes to visit.

Another fun encounter for me was a private lesson to teach an engaged couple what to do for their “first dance” at their upcoming wedding reception. Since the groom is rarely in town due to his work schedule, we only had a limited time frame, and I was concerned because they hadn’t decided on a song. In one afternoon, during my 90 minute lesson with them, they picked a song, liked the dance I chose to teach them, learned it plus had time to practice without my help! It was encouraging to watch this young couple in love and his devotion to make her dancing dream come true! Here is a link to the classic cowboy partner line dance I taught them, although in western PA/eastern OH we do it slightly different than the demo video:

https://www.copperknob.co.uk/stepsheets/sway-p-ID124077.aspx

My final amusing experience involved teaching line dance to a church youth group; only 3 teenage boys attended, and none of them knew about line dancing plus they weren’t country music fans. I didn’t let that deter me, and decided to try some of the basic line dances that are usually played at weddings and gatherings. These boys were very respectful and followed my instruction to learn 4 dances in 1 hour! They really set the bar high for any future students because they started with no dance ability and ended up performing expressive dance moves! When the lesson was over, they all asked when I would be coming back to teach again and talked about bringing their friends.

Thanks to all these students in the “younger” generation who enjoyed their introduction to line dancing!!

Dori Yez teaches Country Line Dancing on Mondays at Rolling Mills Bar in Girard, Ohio and occasionally on Thursdays at the Landmark Hotel in Mercer, PA. For more information, check out their Facebook pages. Dori also teaches line dance at the Cortland Ohio SCOPE Center on Fridays.

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