Country Dancing

Learning A New Language


For anyone who has never taken a line dance class, there are many different reasons to try one. You will be hooked, once you get past the language “barrier” of learning how all the new words translate into various steps. Line dancers understand what to do when an instructor says any of the following: grapevine, hitch, sailor step, rocking chair, weave, coaster step, rock recover, pivot, shuffle step, or ball change. Those are just a few examples; there are so many more! Understandably, when a beginner takes their first line dance lesson, they’re confused and think they have entered into a world with a new foreign language. They actually have, but it becomes easier with every lesson.

My dance career began in my youth with classes in ballet, tap, and jazz. In my teens I was an assistant teacher and then was hired as a teacher/choreographer, which lasted a few decades. In the early 90’s the mother of one of my dancers asked if I knew anyone who taught “line dance.” I replied that I would look into it and added “how hard can it be, all you do is repeat yourself.” To this day, those words ring in my mind when I have trouble remembering a new dance! My journey as a line dance instructor began in a Western PA middle school teaching 7th & 8th graders, then adult classes at the local Y. From there it was adult continuing education at another high school and local college, then on to different restaurants and bars in Northeast Ohio.

If you are interested in learning how to line dance, I suggest you start with a beginner class where you can learn the new language of line dance steps. If you’re shy, either bring a friend or practice with some online tutorials to build your confidence. There are so many different dances, and there are different levels from beginner to intermediate to advanced. A basic one to start with is the very first line dance I learned to the song “I Feel Lucky” by Mary Chapin Carpenter. I still teach it occasionally, it’s called the Wild Cat Strut. (Click here for a link to the step sheet). So give it a try and take a line dance class to have fun and learn a new language!

Dori Yez teaches Country Line Dancing on Mondays at Rolling Mills Bar in Girard, Ohio; Wednesdays at Social 45 in Lisbon, Ohio and Fridays at Yankee Bootleggers Saloon in Brookfield, Ohio. Stop on out for a class, you will be glad you did! For more information, check out the clubs Facebook pages.

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