Country Dancing

Sissy, Bud and a Mechanical Bull


It all began with the 1980 release of the movie Urban Cowboy, starring John Travolta and Debra Winger.  This movie captured the late 1970’s/early 1980’s popularity of country music and dancing in Texas.  It sparked an interest in country dance that has spread around the world.  It was this movie, about a young cowboy moving to Texas to work the oil refinery with his uncle, eventually finding love in a country bar, that would initiate the whirlwind popularity of how cool it is to country line dance and two step.

The casting of John Travolta in this movie was on the heels of his previous hit movies, Saturday Night Fever, and Grease, where we would witness his natural ability to put steps to any genre of music and turn it into a nationwide phenomenon and era.   What a talent for dancing, and we witnessed it in all of these movies, but with the movie Urban Cowboy he showed “Country, when country wasn’t cool.”

The release of this movie also boosted the popularity of the biggest country bar in Texas, Gilley’s, (owned and operated by award winning country singer, Mickey Gilley).

The movie illustrated that you can find love, even if you are “looking for it in all the wrong places.”  The bond that country/line dancing brings to those involved begins wih such a great connection from the start of learning to dance among people who either know enough about it that they can be helpful to you, or they are on the same page as you are, a beginner, and just trying to stay in a straight line and do what moves them along with everyone else.

This movie also gave America that girl who could put on a cowboy hat, and be cute as a button.  Especially if you were the likes of Sissy (Debra Winger), you could win over the hearts of everyone in the Dance Club just strutting in.  She didn’t know how to country dance or ride a mechanical bull, but she took both by the horns, and turned them into a sexy art mix between a tomboy and a wildcat.

There is something a bond of people who share a passion such as line dancing, or any kind of dancing for that matter.  Sure, we see it in the movies, but it is also true in life, learning something together as a group will create a bond that can last a lifetime.  Students who have come to my classes are now best friends with those who were beside them on the floor that very first lesson.

In my 10 years of teaching, I have witnessed well over 20 proposals, and marriages among those who had a common love of dancing and country music.  It has also been proven that couples who share a common hobby together, stay together.

There are so many “Sissy’s” and “Bud’s” out there, who love country dancing and are developing bonds with people who will remain their best friends for life.  And among that crowd could be two people just “looking for love,” and will find it with a simple two step or line dance next to a stranger on the floor.

Deborah Siebert can be found teaching country dancing every Wednedsay and Friday at Thirsty Cowboy in Medina, Ohio.  For more information follow Thirsty Cowboy on Facebook or check out their website at

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