Once people try line dancing, everyone falls in love with it. The good thing about line dancing is that you don’t need a partner to get out there and do “your thang.” One problem about doing “your thang” is when its time to step to your right, you need to step to your right. Line dancing is about coordination and memorization and then you can do “your thang.”
“Born To Move”, BTM, had the pleasure of interviewing Jeannette Jones, (JJ) President, “Praise Line Dance Enterprises.”
BTM – Can you tell us how long this form of dance been around and its origin?
JJ – In the 1800s two lines would form, men on one side, women on the other. The partners would join between the two lines and generally do their own routine down the middle. When they reached the end of the lines, they parted and moved back into their respective lines and the next couple would begin. The Texan’s suggests that one of the most popular country dances of all time, the Texas Two Step.
BTM – How many line dances do you think are out there? Every time I learn one, here comes another.
JJ – There are probably thousands. People make up their dance and call it something and teach it to others and there it is.
BTM – What was your mission for becoming a line dance instructor?
JJ – My mission is to get people moving, regardless of age, race, gender or disability. It started as a social outlet for me. I was depressed and needed interaction with people. I enrolled in a country line dance class, then a soul line dance class with younger people. I really had to step up my game. I really enjoyed the classes and look forward to them. The depression had ceased, I was having fun and loss weight. What more could I ask for? I wanted to share this joy with others and thought how I could use it to glorify the Lord. That’s went I came across “gospel line dancing.”
BTM – Now “Praise Line Dance Enterprises” does both gospel and urban line dance classes, what is the difference?
JJ – My tag line is “Same Dance, Different Music”. Some urban line dances can become very explicit, but that’s not what I teach. The more people get familiar with the steps, they begin to make it their own and take it as far as they want. Of course with gospel music people will improvise the steps but they will not take it out of context.
Cardio – you can burn 300-600 calories in one hour. The average length of a class is 1 ½ -2 hours. In this timeframe you could learn 5-10 dances. Some are simple 3-5 steps, however as the class sessions progress the step combinations become complex.
Exercising your Mind – Memorization is key and you want to go in the same direction as everyone else. People naturally know their right from the left, but let someone call it out “turn right”, someone’s bound to turn left. If you memorize and call out the steps to yourself, that’s a great way to keep up and stay in line with everyone else.
Spiritual Connection – Everybody is on one accord. Nobody’s mad because you messed up, bumped into someone or stepped on a foot, people just laugh and continue to have fun. Some people help others learn the moves. It’s a social fellowship for all to enjoy one another.
BTM – Have you noticed improvement in your health?
JJ – YES. I’ve lost 8 pounds in 6 months. My body use to be very stiff especially in the morning, but I’m more flexible. And as I said before my depression had been lifted and demeanor have improved. Thanks to the Lord I really do have a new song and dance.
BTM – Have any participants voiced a difference in their health?
JJ – Yes, some have said they no longer have aching joints and pains. Some loss weight, others it’s an emotional outlet and for some it’s their only social outlet.
BTM – How hard is it to catch on to the movements and is there any one basic or step that is generic?
JJ – People with 2 left feet can line dance because some dances involve just 3 steps that are repeated over and over again to a song. If you memorize and talk the steps out to yourself, it becomes second nature. One basic step in most all line dances is the CHA-CHA. So you got to learn that move.
BTM – Is there an age or health requirement for line dancing classes?
JJ – There is no age requirement but you need to be able to follow the instructor. Some young people have a tendency not to like line dancing because it’s structured and therefore challenging for them. But when they get it, they make the dance their own and sometimes it doesn’t look like the same dance. As far as health requirements, I’ve noticed people with canes, some with deformities, different shapes and sizes, and even in wheel chairs line dancing. Everybody works out to their own abilities.
BTM – Do you know of an instructional television program where an individual can go to learn steps and movements?
JJ – I don’t know of a television program off hand, but one can go to “YouTube” on the internet. You can assess the dance by name, artist or song title and it will show the dance and breakdown each move.
BTM – Thanks Jeannette for taking the time to speak to our readers and we wish you much success! How can one enroll in your class or have you start a class in their area?
JJ – Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-356-6406. Last thing I want to say is that “line dancing” can be addictive and can be the best and easiest form of movement that will increase your cardio, stamina and endurance.
It’s all about moving your body to stay healthy, and yes, That’s Enough To Make You Want To Hollar And Throw Up Both Your Hands!