“Soul Line Dancer” – Nicky Wilkinson
What made you decide to get into line dancing?
My love for life and to keep it moving. In my younger years it was ballet and toe. As I matured, it became hand dancing. My passion for teaching stems from the training I received while obtaining my degree in Elementary Education at Knoxville College in Tennessee. The best part of line dancing is you don’t need partner. I remember my teacher was so patient; it didn’t matter if you got it the first time or not, you just kept trying. I knew that’s what made the difference for me. One of my favorite sayings is, “Life Is To Be Lived….So Live It” !
Do you consider this a form of exercising?
This is definitely a form of exercise. When line dancing, you exercise your:
- brain – memory
- muscles – arms, thighs and legs
- mental state – stress reliever
- spiritual being – by caring for and loving a new family…the Line Dance Family
- creativity, patience and endurance.
WOW, what a workout!
How do you memorize all the steps, twists and turns to so many songs? Is there a method to the madness?
There is not just one method when it comes to line dancing. My method is to:
- Study a dance by use of a video
- Write down the dance – step by step, beat by beat
- Practice the dance over and over again…. reading and tweeking my notes as I go along.
- Use fun phrases or sounds while teaching a dance. (i.e.- if you mess up, catch up and just don’t give up; boom, boom, boom)
It’s easy to follow someone when starting off a dance, but what can a “mature woman” do to condition her mind to remember a dance especially one that has 5 or more steps… Ginkgo Biloba?
I have my students, mature or otherwise, SAY their steps every time they do the dance. It’s all about repetitions and fun.
How do you become a line dance instructor?
Anyone who can keep a beat and explain a dance can be a line dance instructor. I started out by teaching my co-workers. Next thing I knew, more and more people wanted to learn the dances. Word got out that I taught line dance classes, and invitations to teach at other locations started coming in.
I became certified well after I had been teaching for several years. The International Consortium of Line Dance Instructors, enriched some of the practices I was already using. I also received valuable legal and business information from this organization.
Where do you get the music?
Instructors share music with one another. Another way is through choreographers. Some choreographers choreograph dances using remix music, and it is my opinion, that a remix is the hardest music to put your hands on. You can also purchase music from iTunes.
Is there anything else you rather do for exercise?
Sure……I’d rather just exercise my eyes while laying in my bed and watching aerobics on T.V. Ha ha! But on a serious note, I do enjoy deep water aerobics.
What words of wisdom can you give our readers regarding line dancing?
We are a Line Dance Family. All instructors teach differently and on different levels. There are hundreds and hundreds of dances out there, and classes are being taught all over the world so:
- Get out there and find the class that works for you. Keep it moving and have fun doing it.
- Do not wear tennis shoes. The rubber will restrict your movements. Wear smooth bottom shoes or socks.
- Attend classes with a hand towel, water and a miniature fan if possible.
- Most importantly…..have FUN!
What’s coming up in your future?
I’m on a secret mission. I’m still trying to figure out if my plan is in the Master’s Plan.
Can you share something about yourself that we wouldn’t ever think you would do outside line dancing?
Everyone thinks dancing is my number one hobby, but it’s not, it’s FISHING!
Thanks Nicky for sharing your story!
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