Country Dancing

Country At The Boot


Jordan Elizabeth, Craig Wayne Boyd and Dori Yez at Country At The Boot in Brookfield.

Before I get to the subject of this article, allow me to go back in time to give you a brief history of the iconic Yankee Lake Ballroom located in its own little village in eastern Ohio. From the creation of both the lake and ballroom in the 1920’s through the big band events of the 40’s & 50’s into the days of prohibition, countless people have their own stories to tell about this building. The legend of bootlegging ultimately inspired the metamorphosis of this beautiful structure to become Yankee Bootleggers Saloon back in 2010.

As I have mentioned in previous articles, I had the pleasure of teaching line dance at Bootleggers from 2012 through their last season in 2017. I went back to teach a few lessons in 2019 when the owners tried to resurrect the glory days; unfortunately, the new format didn’t succeed. When I heard that new management decided to open Country At The Boot, I was intrigued and contacted them to write this article.

Ken Haidaris is the brains behind an idea for this indoor concert series; he is well-known in the Warren, Ohio area for multiple successful endeavors including River Rock at the Amp. I spoke with him about his plan to assemble a crew to brainstorm, promote, and breathe new life into the former Bootleggers. Ken referred me to his enthusiastic Marketing Director, Alyssa Connelly, who was excited to learn about my idea to feature them.

On December 2, I walked into Country At The Boot and was immediately greeted by the manager, Jack Fess. For every event, the doors open at 6pm and the band starts at 8pm. There is a dance floor and a VIP section with premium seating that offers table service. The bar has drink specials and the kitchen features a concession menu. For most of the events, they have a line dance lesson. Regular admission is $15 and VIP tickets are $25. Follow them on Facebook (Country at The Boot) or check out their website:

I was able to chat with the evening’s entertainment, Craig Wayne Boyd, before he took the stage. Craig was the season 7 winner on The Voice, and I specifically picked this night to hear him and his band. They did not disappoint; take my advice and catch his act! You can follow him on social media to see his tour dates. Craig skillfully sang a wide variety of songs with different tempos to keep dancers on the floor all night!

Craig covered the song “Boots On” and I was happy I remembered the dance to it:

My Boots On

A big thank you to whoever asked Craig to sing “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” because this is one of my favorite line dances:

Madhouse to the Max

Honestly, it was an emotional night for me, remembering the hundreds of people who I taught through the years at Bootleggers. A sincere thank you goes out to everyone who came to check out the “new” venue and line dance with me. It was wonderful to spend time with dancers who I haven’t seen for years, as well as ones who I recently taught. Add in my line dancing friends along with a couple that I know through theater and I had a fun, memory-filled evening! The best compliment that I received was from a young lady who I don’t even know; she came up to me on the dance floor and said, “You’re the reason I know how to line dance. I used to follow you when you taught here at Bootleggers.” I hope Country At The Boot creates the same kind of atmosphere!

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

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