Fresh New Take

Last night I went to a country bar I hadn’t been to yet- Cowboys.  It was a cool place, has a restaurant and store attached.  Smaller dance floor, but that was fine since there were only maybe a dozen or so people dancing.  Two stories, which is always cool.  You know why I like checking out new line dancing places?  You get a fresh take on overplayed dances.  I almost always go to the same bar, it’s close to my house, I know people there on any given night, so I can walk in by myself and feel at ease.  When I go to a new bar, it can be intimidating and exciting.  Plus, you get to hear different songs!  For instance, I learned another song I can do the “Slam Dance” to- “Like A G6”.  You don’t generally walk into a country bar and expect to hear that.  The bar I go to normally plays “Cheater, Cheater” for it, sometimes “(C’mon Ride) The Train” and occasionally Flo’Rida’s “Low” or “Boom Boom Pow”.  That was kind of cool.  I also got to do the Canadian Stomp to “Crazy B*tch” (normally this is done to “Pour Some Sugar on Me” or “She’s Country”, but I’ve found it can be done to most classic rock songs).   I suppose it’s really just like listening to the same radio station day in and day out and hearing the same 40 songs, then switching to a new station one day and hearing a song you haven’t heard in forever.

In addition to hearing different songs, you get to meet new people and see new styles of dancing.  I didn’t see anything too new this time, but I have learned new dances before simply by going to a new place for a change.  Sometimes it’s nice to just switch it up.

It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing!

Dancing is my biggest passion in the world, but it was only a few years ago that I realized it.  When I was 11 or 12, a dance instructor came to my church youth group and taught us how to swing dance.  I liked it so much I started taking classes at the local rec center.  When I moved away, I quit dancing, but I never forgot the basics.

Eight years later, I moved back.  By a series of events, I met some people who went swing dancing.  After a quick refresher lesson, I went with them.  At this point I had already started line dancing fairly regularly, so my rhythm had improved as well as my knowledge of dance steps.  I loved it all over again.  I brought swing friends to the country bar to do fancier stuff than most those cowboys could imagine.  I was dancing three to five nights a week, I loved it! But like with anything, I started to get worn out.  My friends stopped swing dancing and my best line dancing p.i.c. moved away.  I hit some rough spots and stopped dancing but maybe once a month.

Finally, I got an itch that needed scratching and I went back.  I started finding new swing partners in the country bars.  I learned that these people were less concerned with basic step and more with having fun.  Not alway the best partners, but it helped.  All the “swing kids” are obsessed with Lindy hop and blues dancing.  I could learn these, but I chose to go the other way instead.  I keep my basic east coast swing skills, but at the country bar its more about spinning.  Lots of spinning.  I suppose I should work on my spotting!  They also do a lot with west coast swing and one stepping and my new dance to conquer two-stepping.  There’s even a line dance waltz now!

I’ve come a long way from basic swing steps in a church rec hall, but I wouldn’t change any of it.  I’ve learned so much and found a place where I can always learn more.  And the more new people I meet the more I learn.  But never forget your roots, and, most importantly, never ever forget the basics!

The Road is Copperhead Road

“Copperhead Road” is one of the easiest dances to learn.  Any first time visitor to the country bar can learn it, even if they can’t do something as basic as the electric slide.  It’s one of the first dances I learned.  Then I learned another way to do it.

My friend and I met some guys from Kentucky one night at the club.  And, ulterior motives aside, they taught us the “Kentucky Style” of “Copperhead Road”.  After learning this version, we pretty much never went back.  We made it a point to do this version and stand out in every club we went to.  Then she went to Chicago and discovered yet another way to do the dance.  This version was the most complicated but most fun of all!  But she didn’t remember it well enough to teach us.  Lo and behold, a few months later I saw some people doing what looked like the dance she tried to tech us.  So I took it upon my self to learn and now always do that one, maybe it proves my line dancing prowess.

At first I was surprised to find out not everyone did the same dance to this song.  It seems perfectly logical now that people have different dances in different places, but at the time I was naive and not as well versed in the line dancing world.  I wonder how many different dances there are just for this one song, a country bar staple.  I could search YouTube, but that wouldn’t catch them all.  Perhaps one day I will discover first hand some more of them.

My Idea For This

My dad’s cousin told me the other day that I should think about going back to school.  I have two degrees in business, but I am really not interested enough in it to go back for an M.B.A.  She said that I am an excellent writer and that maybe I should go back to school for journalism.  Well I don’t know so much about going back to school but I thought, “Hey, I CAN write about something.”  And what is the first thing that any writer will tell you? — write what you know.  What do I know? I know line dancing.

It has been said on more than one occasion that I am one of the best dancers in my favorite club.  However, for the sake of humility, let’s just say I am pretty darn good and know quite a few ins and outs of the dance.  Line dancing is one of the few things that I’ve learned I can do no matter where I go.  Somewhere, in every region of the country, there is at least one club or bar I can go line dance in.   What I really noticed though, is that all over the country, and world, people do the same dances differently.  Or more accurately, do different variations of a dance or a different dance to the same song.  Every line dancing club has it’s few staples, so imagine the shock you’d receive when a song you know the dance by heart to comes on and all of a sudden people are dancing a completely different dance.  I bet you though, at least one of those people will take the time to point you in the right direction, so that by the end of the song you have learned their dance too.

Then you can take that dance back home to your regular spot and eventually it will catch on like wildfire, just watch!  I hope this blog can aide in that! With the help of my line dancing partner in crime, I intend to experience line dancing all over the country, and eventually the world.  And I want you to experience it with me too!