Country Dancing

Turning Strangers into Friends

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Last month’s article was titled “The Benefits of Line Dancing,” in which I touched upon the physical and mental aspects. This month I want to discuss the emotional impact you can experience when you commit to a regular routine of attending line dance classes.

The inspiration for this topic came to me from three different people whom I have known for various lengths of time. They don’t know each other, but what they all have in common is they were once strangers to me. Through teaching them line dance, I consider myself blessed to have the opportunity to get to know them and so many others who have crossed my path in this life.

Recently I was enjoying a night out dancing to a DJ in a private club. He played a particular song (which wasn’t country) that I had taught a line dance to many years ago. Hearing that song, I immediately thought of the wonderful lady who ALWAYS requested it in my classes. I haven’t seen her for a few years, but the memory of teaching her brought back a smile. Then I had to dust the cobwebs from my brain to remember the steps to the line dance! I was successful and even checked the step sheet to confirm that I danced it correctly.

Unfortunately in the world of line dance lessons, a restaurant’s owner may decide to change the class to a different night which doesn’t coincide with the teacher’s or students’ schedules. As you might have guessed, this happened to me last week, but what transpired after that was uplifting. Three months ago they started as strangers meeting weekly for class, but they turned into friends who didn’t want their fun to end. Fortunately, their ‘ringleader’ found a nearby location, talked to the bar owner about moving my class there and without hesitation, he agreed.

Over the years I have instructed many different dancers, but this last story deeply touched my heart and, like the others, I will keep her identity secret. She described her journey to me, from when she first started taking my classes up until the present time, and I realized how much of a positive impact I have had in her life. There is no greater gift than being told that I have helped her, and others, through my love of dance. So the next time you go to a line dance class, or go out dancing, remember that stranger beside you has the potential to become your friend!

Dori Yez teaches Country Line Dancing on Mondays at Rolling Mills Bar in Girard, Ohio and Thursdays at the Landmark Hotel in Mercer, PA. She also teaches one Friday a month at The Academy of Dance Anatomy in Mercer, PA. For more information, check out their Facebook pages. In addition, Dori teaches at Trumbull SCOPE Centers – at the Niles location on Tuesdays and in Cortland on Fridays.

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