Line Dancing

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Martin Hash
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Line Dancing

Post by Martin Hash » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:11 am

Line Dancing.jpg

While I was in Elementary school in Los Angeles, due to Smog alerts, instead of going out for recess, we did Square dancing. And as a teenager I joined a Charleston dance team; I can’t remember why and I dropped out after my first performance because of shyness but I know there’s precedence for me learning to partner dance, which makes it all the more frustrating that despite multiple attempts to learn specialty dancing with my wife, Gwynne, I am a complete failure; just ask her.

We first tried a Swing dance class 25-years ago; took several lessons before coming up with an excuse to quit. The real reason was that everyone else was swinging and I was swunging. We tried Waltzing a few years after that but it was a change partners dating club, and though Gwynne was a hit, I didn’t want to make the same small-talk every 2 minutes. A decade later, we decided to give it another go when we lived in the Caribbean, this time Salsa dancing - nope; then the Tango - definitely not.

Gwynne & I could Rock-n-Roll together, each at our own pace, rhythm & style but we gave up learning any synchronized dancing. However, time eventually dimmed our memories, and while I was trying to branch out my musical repertoire into Country, something Gwynne’s always liked because she’s a cowgirl at heart, I foolishly suggested we learn to Line dance. Now, even though Gwynne knew better, she really did want to go to Western bars on occasion so she agreed as long as I made all the arrangements.

Line Dance Lessons.jpg

I used Meetup to find local Line dancing lessons, paid the money and drove us over there. I was immediately suspicious: there were about 50 women, none really attractive, not much overweight, 40+ years old. They were enjoying themselves, so Line Dancing is good for them, but you have to ask, why only women? And, as luck would have it, it was review night, so everybody was expected to know all the dances from an extremely long 2-page list. This is an exact quote from the instructor: “Don’t watch anybody else’s feet. I can tell because your head is moving too much. Count the steps, 1 to 32.”

We stood in the back but in Line dancing the back becomes the front about half the time so everyone got to stare at me fumbling around like a drunken buffoon. I don't like being ordered around. I don't want to hear how the instructor's husband who has Alzheimer's is doing. I was the only one with a beer IN A BAR. The instructions were so fast, I couldn't get one series down before there were 3 others; any boy who was taught how to throw a football or shoot a free-throw knows how athletics are effectively taught: here's three steps, do 100 times before moving on, and the coach watches and corrects you. In the end, I only lasted 20-minutes or so then I sat down and ordered a beer. Gwynne finished the complete class but she didn’t suggest we return again. It was a humiliating and humbling experience. We went home from the club; that Line Dancing experience ruined dancing for me for a while.

I was feeling a little uncertain when Gwynne & I went back to regular dancing at the dive bar we normally dance at. We know the other dancers there, and I guess I was reaching out for a little reassurance when I asked my friend, Tony, if he'd ever tried to learn Line dancing. Tony looked at me with the, Are-You-Kidding face and said, “After about 30 minutes of Line-dancing, I made a B-line to the bar, and asked to line ‘em up.”

List of Line Dances.jpg
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Re: Line Dancing

Post by C-Mag » Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:11 pm

You made it 30 minutes longer than I ever did, and a great choice to head to the bar. It's an awful relic of a time when Hollywood tried to infuse disco into country bars. Just awful. It's mostly for fat chicks and the occasional Gwynne as an outlier.

I stood my ground through the entire Bill Ray Cyrus line dancing assault during the early 90's, heck I didn't even know it was around anymore. Country swing on the other hand is pretty cool.


Don't fear authority, Fear Obedience