The 1999 Reedley Fresh Fruit Festival will be June 25 - 27 held in Reedley, CA at the Reedley College

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June 29, 1998

Had one awesome, laughter-filled.... snackin', dancin' weekend...

The Reedley Fresh Fruit Festival (held on the grounds of Reedley College) was the event where the Western Stars Dance & Social Club ( of Reedley) decided to host a countinuous Western Dance Workshop and Dance. Continuous FREE linedance (and couples) lessons from 10 til 5 and a DJ'd dance ($7) with 2 lessons from 7:30 to 11. The Reedley Fruit Festival (located right outside the door to our air conditioned dance floor) had craft booths, food, snacks, and soft drinks ....and fresh baked fruit pies...(equal to or greater than that pie restaurant that we all frequent when we are dancin' at the Pismo Festival...grins.) The linedance workshops and evening dance was held in the Reedley College air conditioned Cafeteria. The $5 tri-tip beef dinner served by the Reedley College Food Concessions was EXCELLENT and the Snack Bar was open all night long... (which meant that all evening during the dance I could buy Haagen-Dazs ice cream bars and Dr. Peppers and any other junk food snacks I wanted.)

He's from the Country....She's from the Country....and they like it like that....

Reedley, CA is the Central Valley...farm and dairy land with views of the snow capped High Sierra...close to Yosemite National Park. Orange County Dancin' Country Dancers drove 4 hours to attend this one day event and we San Francisco Bay Area Dancers drove nearly as long ....cause we are huge fans of Reedley's home town boy ....Sal Gonzalez and his wife Diane.

Workshops

Instructors/Choreographers from the Central Valley area...

Donna (Norma Jean) Wasnick taught her new beginner friendly dance Wylies Jingle Jangle done to "Jingle, Jangle, Jingle" by Wylie & the Wild West and her beginner Crazy Donna done to "Mi Vida Loca" by Pam Tillis.

RJ Walker taught beginner line dance Little Ramona (Janet Hilliard) and since the dancers got it sooo quickly he taught his dance - Touché...I missed out!...but I saw it done at the dance later on and it is intermediate and energetic and the dancers were smilin'. He only had a few copies of his dance with him, but all of my instructors got copies...grins.

Instructors from the San Francisco Bay Area....

Mike Sliter premiered his brand new, easy intermediate 2 wall, 64 count line dance San Antone Rose done to "I'll be your San Antone Rose" by Emmylou Harris. I had goose bumps after dancin' the dance and hearing the lyrics...the dancer next to me commented..."finally a dance to some great country music".

Mike Sliter (assited by his lovely wife Beth) also taught his Bay Area hit Roll Of The Diceand Hardwood Stomp (Jo Thompson).

Sharon and Harry Emmett taught iintermediate/advanced Cuban Heels (Terry Hogan). This happened to be the last workshop of the day...and by now the level of dancers was very evident...and so Sharon chose to teach Cuban Heels.....(she let me demo the double time scissor step variations for counts 33-40)...Mike and Beth Sliter were taking the lesson...I will let you know if they put it on their schedule.

The Evening Dance Lesson....

Sal Gonzalez premiered his brand new beginner 2 wall line dance Strait Cha-Cha ("I Just Want To Dance With You" George Strait) here in Reedley tonight....we Sal fans had our "Sal Gonzalez Fan Club Shirts" on...and of course we had to be in the front row (I was right behind him as he taught). We hoped he would know how special the night was for us. The dance is sooo Sal...it begins with double hip rocks forward and double hip rocks backward. Did I mention I was right behind him?....I did concentrate and when he did the last step of the dance...brush forward with right foot...he sort of emphasized it with his hips as he stepped forward diagonal with right foot to begin the dance again. I noticed later on when we did the dance again...those dancers who emphasized that ending brush....must have seen him do it....grins.

The Evening Dance...DJ'd by Jim Manfredi and then Sal Gonzalez...

The dance floor was comfortably crowded (just under 200 dancers) ...as many couple dancers as line dancers....for a while it seem Jim called every other dance either a couple or a line dance. I guess he thought we line dancers were tuckered out from the all day workshops...NOT. So we just got in the center and whoever started a line dance...we followed.

We got to do all the dances that were taught in the workshops...it was a real treat to see that Donna Wasnick ( a Mama who let her babies grow up to be dancers) have KathiAnn and Josh dancin' to either side of her doin' Wylies Jingle Jangle....

When Jim called Jambalaya (Ian St.Leon)...wow, we flew to the floor...but RJ Walker has taught his dancers Jambalaya Joe (Bill Bader) to the same music...so we needed to split the floor. Jim called Fat Sally Lee...before we jumped to the floor we are thinkin'...whoa "they do Arthur Smith's dance here?"....no....turns out it is the same music and same dance name...but RJ Walker taught his dancers Johnny Montana's Fat Sally Lee...

I had to be introduced to this instructor... seems he was at the Reno Festival...said he even danced right behind me (he knew I had my white logo shirt on)...he read my URL and he said he now downloads dances from LineDanceFun...I asked him to send me a signed copy of his dance Touché.

When Sal took his DJ rotation toward the end of the dance...he was more familiar with the dances the Bay Area Dancers and the Orange County Dancers were requestin'...and so he knew the right music to play for the hit dances in our area...(btw way Orange County Dancin' Country Dancers raved to me about a dance in their area called Groovy Moves (Vicki Wenc)...if you have a signed copy to share with me E me and I will give you my snail address)

Bottom Line...

This was the first year for this event...at first I was upset that the name of the dance to be taught was not written on paper....no problem... every line dance lesson started on the "hour" and the DJ just announced the names of the dance...there were two rooms...just steps from each other...and it really turned out for the best...cause they had not expected intermediate/advanced dancers to show up in such large numbers...instructors adapted and taught to both levels of dancers in attendance. I was more then happy about this flexibility. You might find as I have as you attend workshops...the instructor makes a difference! If I see a good (for me...they have to give me the count and have a helper assistnt who can watch the crowd when they can't and the assistant can ask for steps to be repeated) instructors name on the schedule...I will take their workshop over any dance title.

Orange County Dancers Sue and Marion (officers of the official San Gonzalez Fan Club) sold Sal Gonzalez " Friends Do Tell Friends They Line Dance" T-Shirts all day long at the workshop...their reward....they were able to present a check for $165. 00 to Andy Anderson, President of the Western Stars Dance & Social Club of Reedley - the entire proceeds of their T-Shirt sales. The Sal Gonzalez Fan Club was formed by Sal and Sue and all his fans... their only purpose is to promote line dancin' to their communities by wearing their shirts...and they hope the Western Stars Club will use their check to continue to actively recruit new dancers to add to our line dance community.

I heard no complaints...I certainly had a great time...if word gets out how much fun it is to come to Reedley for this workshop...they will need to set up less tables on their air conditioned dance floor and just give us chairs...

Sal Gonzalez....thank you for invitin' us to come Dancin' With You...

 
 
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© 1998 Line Dance Fun Festival Reports


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