Country Dancing

A Leave of Absence


If you read last month’s article, it ended with “Dori Yez no longer teaches Country Line Dancing; next month’s article will explain more.” After teaching line dance for thirty years, I decided I needed to take a leave of absence. The reasons are two-fold; I must admit it was a bittersweet decision that took me six months to realize it was in my best interest. I taught my final class for SCOPE on June 30, 2023. 

Faithful readers of my articles know that I became a first-time grandmother in April 2022. Since August 2022, I have been blessed with watching my grandson two or three days per week. I was also teaching dance on those evenings, or afternoons, depending on my line dance class schedule. After three months of “double duty” on those days, I realized that I wanted to devote all my energy to my grandson. After all, he’s growing every day and I won’t get this time back. It’s both priceless and precious. 

At this point I considered changing my class schedule. Unfortunately, during this time, I also became conscious of the feeling that I was burned out with teaching. I truly wasn’t enjoying it anymore; even though I taught successful classes with devoted dancers, I no longer wanted to teach. I informed the SCOPE Director that I wanted to take a leave of absence, because I wanted the opportunity to go back in the future, if I desired. 

After I emailed the announcement to all my line dancers, I received both positive and negative reactions; I’ll start with a few short comments from some dancers who weren’t very supportive of my decision: “I don’t know how you can walk away from your classes.” Another stated: “I could tell you haven’t been happy for the last few months.” She was absolutely correct; however, she never bothered to ask me what was going on! 

Now on to the heartfelt sentiments; I would like to share a few of my favorites with you, edited for space here: From CO: “Thank you for the memories. Dancing, specifically your class came into my life when I didn’t seem to have anything just for me and next to Jesus, it truly got me through some of the most difficult times of my life. Thank you again for everything. I appreciate you beyond the dance floor.” SK wrote: “You will truly be missed. Not just for your teaching skills (you are the best line dance teacher I have ever taken lessons from), but because of the person you are. You are such a kind, caring, and compassionate person who always took such a personal interest in your students and what they were dealing with. It was a privilege to be one of your students. Hope you are relaxing and enjoying your grandson.” 

And finally, BM replied: “Congratulations on a teaching career WELL DONE! God’s Richest Blessings on you for recognizing and choosing the MOST important, Love filled decision of INVESTING in your grandson’s LIFE. There is no price that can be put upon that little life and the difference you’re making as you help guide him through this life! NO regrets, no apologies and no looking back. Press on with courage and strength as you face each new day of God’s mercy and grace and share that with him. He’s adorable and needs you. What a blessing you are.” All I can say is: Thanks ladies! Your understanding and support mean the world to me. 

When I spoke with a few of my fellow line dance teachers from around the area to inform them of my decision and why I felt burned out, WITHOUT FAIL, all of them said, “I know exactly how you feel.” To any of you out there taking line dance classes, my advice is to treat your instructor with compassion. Show your appreciation; believe me, it’s rewarding but difficult to teach groups of dancers containing a variety of personalities week after week. Lastly, be patient and supportive with your instructor; you never know what they are going through. 

Dori Yez will continue to write her monthly article on CCM; and may also “guest instruct” at local venues/events! 

PHOTO: Dori (center) after teaching her final class at SCOPE (6.14.23)

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