LINE dancing is not only for the boot-kicking cowboys and girls who love country and western music – as shown by the varied crowd of dancers who enjoy it across the Nelson Mandela Bay metro and further afield.
Today it encompasses many styles of dance and music, so it can be enjoyed by everyone – all you need is patience and perseverance say experts. Eastern Cape line dance teachers encourage their pupils to kick-start their fitness by signing up for classes.
Line dancing is a group of people doing the same dance steps, facing the same way and moving in the same direction. Class levels include absolute beginner, beginner new, improver, intermediate and advanced.
Bernice McMagh, manager of Black Stetsons line dance club, says line dancing helps with fitness.
“It increases your fitness levels and reduces stress levels therefore it should reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels,” she says.
“Line dancing also helps you find the beat, teaches you basic footwork and improves your confidence – it helps you overcome the feeling of having two left feet and in turn offers a sense of pride and accomplishment and improves your coordination.”
Nuline Dance teacher June Burdett says it is fun and a good way to meet people and make new friends.
“Line dancing will teach you how to dance. If you can’t dance by yourself then how can you possibly expect to dance with a partner? Line dancing teaches you to actually move your body,” she said, giving other advantages: “It increases energy levels and you don’t need special gear – except comfortable shoes suitable for dancing – you don’t need a partner, your age doesn’t count and it can be enjoyed by the whole family.”
Marie Loux, who teaches at Happy Feet in Jeffreys Bay, agreed.
“It builds body strength, increases flexibility and improves posture and balance.
“Because the steps need to be remembered, it serves as memory training and can assist retention, recall of information and increases concentration,” she said.
While the list of line dances is extensive, they said you could start by learning those most often requested.
Line dances include the Electric Slide, the Cha Cha Slide, the Boot Scootin’ Boogie, Cotton-Eyed Joe, Chicken Dance, Hokey Pokey, Macarena, the Hustle, Tush Push, the Stroll, the Hora, Hoedown Throwdown, Cupid Shuffle and Catwalk Shuffle.
“Some of these dances are not performed in a line, but in a circle. As long as everyone dances in one group and the steps repeat themselves throughout the song, the dance can be considered a line dance regardless of the formation of where all of the dancers stand,” Mcmagh said.
“Line dancing provides you with a dance outlet whether you have a partner or not. Today, it seems there is a line dance for just about any song you can think of.” – Octayvia Nance