Country Dancing

The Traveling Student


As I wrote in last month’s article, I teach different levels of line dance classes. Recently I was blessed to be able to travel from Ohio’s cold temperatures for a mini-vacation in Florida’s warm weather, where I took two line dance lessons at the Dallas Bull in Tampa. I briefly spoke with both instructors about teaching at the venue “where country comes to play.”

Both Kathy Brown and Bill McGee teach 2 nights per week at the Dallas Bull. Kathy’s classes are on Wednesday/Friday and Bill teaches Thursday/Saturday. They’ve both taught there for 7 years and have known each other for a very long time. If you will be in the area, check out the bar’s website for more information:

My first lesson was a beginner/intermediate level with Kathy. Over the course of 2 hours, she taught 3 dances and there was time in between for song requests for her regulars to practice other dances previously taught. I knew a few of those dances also, so I was able to join in. Kathy stated that she has about 15-20 “core” dancers and her class size can range anywhere from 35-100+ people, depending on the night.

Since Kathy never knows what level of student she will have, she has 5-6 “go to” ultra-beginner dances that she uses for brand new people. She also teaches 3-4 beginner/intermediate level dances every week, starting her class with the hardest dance and ending with the easiest. She uses Facebook to post information about the club, her lessons, and links to the dance step sheets.

My second lesson was an intermediate level with Bill McGee. Last year I took the same class and when I spoke with him this year, he remembered me! I’m not sure if it was due to my ability or inability to master the (sometimes) difficult dance patterns! Since Bill also doesn’t know who will show up for his class, he generally “wings it” (his words) and teaches according to the dancers’ abilities. Just like any teacher, he wants his students to come back every week!

During the 2 hour lesson, Bill taught 5 dances, 4 were intermediate/improver level and the other was an absolute beginner that filled the floor with new dancers! He also played songs in between and has 5-6 “core” dancers, who led the others on the dance floor to practice. One of the “regulars” is a dancer I met last year named Dori, we both agreed we have a great name! She also uses Facebook to post information on Bill’s lessons so dancers can stay up-to-date.

I enjoyed both classes; fortunately, after Bill’s class, I met a line dance legend, Donna Manning, who is a choreographer/instructor. I thought she looked familiar (I’ve taught several of her dances) and approached her to compliment her smooth and graceful dancing. I was honored that she took the time to chat with me; she is very sweet and kind!

Here are links to my favorite dances that I learned from Kathy & Bill and a cool one of Donna’s:

Desperate Man

Groovy Love

Two Step Funk

Dori Yez teaches Country Line Dancing on Mondays at Rolling Mills Bar in Girard, Ohio, Wednesdays at Social 45 in Lisbon and Thursdays at the Landmark Hotel in Mercer, PA. For more information, check out their Facebook pages. In addition, Dori teaches line dance at Trumbull SCOPE Centers: at the Niles location on Tuesdays and in Cortland on Fridays.

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