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LineDanceFun Winter Top 20 Dances
Australian Capital Territory ...home of the CWDI Event- National Capital Bootscoot IV . (This is the annual Christmas in July Weekend Party, complete with prizes for the best decorated tables ...dancers come dressed in red and green and Santa hats)
Charlotte Skeeters and Simon Ward were the guest instructors at Phil Bates and Jenny Cryer's National Captial Bootscooters Thursday evening class in Canberra. 50+ dancers of mixed age groups filled the wooden dance floor.
Jenny and Phil spent their day off touring us around the Canberra, the capital of Australia. Imagine our own Washington D.C. ...or even the capital buildings in your home state capital ...the traffic, the swarming toursits, the long queues to see anything of interest ...and now picture this ...green, serene, and unpoplulated. Phil just drove around all the office complexes, embassies, even the Old Parliamemt House ...no worries ...we saw it all. Charlotte wanted to be dropped off to venture into the galleries and read all about the history of the capital ....I was just satisfied to know that a designer from Chicago was commissioned to lay out the city and ...the only flaw that came to light ...can be seen from the Canberra Tower. Seems the design of the huge freeway interchange was best navagated when keeping to the right and wasn't discovered until completion ...even blondes know that you must remember to keep to the left when driving in Australia. EEK!
While Charlotte educated her brain ...I exercised my boots. Jenny's afternoon class of a dozen or so intermediate/advanced ladies ...spent 2 hours non-stop ...re-learning the 2 dances from the previous nights workshop with Charlotte and Simon and turbo reviewing several other dances they have been working on during the month of January. Only 2 ladies were completely new to the 2 workshop dances ...they easily put the intermediate dance patterns in their heads within the 10 minute re-teachs ...all Jenny had to do was verbally explain where the tags entered the dances and go through the tag steps once. I was glad to go over the intermediate/advanced Simon waltz ...I couldn't believe they got it!
Some of these ladies are also instructors, some are in the process of forming competion teams to compete, others just love to dance. Just observing ... 2 lines of 5 dancers ...they danced sort of in unison ...not unlike a dance team in training. They tell me 4 front row ladies were missing today ...and this is pretty funny. These ladies all have their 'set spots' on the floor ...Jenny was teaching a particularly hard dance one class which was giving the front row ladies difficulty ...so she had all the dancers just slowly move around the floor 'on the spot' until the entire class ended up facing the back wall. Trust me ...I would be willing to try this just to get a Terry Hogan dance down pat the first try ...grins!
I was thrilled that I got the chance to go over Jenny's teach list and circle out the dances I knew ...most of these we got to do in open dancin' and I was also able to see first hand other pieces of Australian choreography that I have seen on their top 5 lists. It was really too much fun to attend this day class!
On my last night in OZ ...Thanks to Brian & Ann, Carol & David and the 2 Margarets for inviting me to the Dance Ranch 2000 for a Friday night social dance. Many more of the dancers at the Thursday workshop were also here dancin' from 7 - Midnight. The dance floor is very much like Swiss Park on a normal quiet night. The DJ has a set play list ...sets are done in 8 sets of 8 ...with a few request dances added. Each set contains oldies, beginner, intermediate and a newer dance. The sets do change from week to week but the format doesn't. Some two-steppin' was also goin' on. I felt so lucky to be able to join in shortly after arriving ...Sunset Stampede (Ian StLeon) was called!
Some of the dances listed that that we are familar with are: Mamboria (Neil Hale), Smokey Places (Michele Perron), Red Hot Salsa (Christine Browne), Dizzy ( Jo Thompson), Too Much Fun (Terry Hogan), Remember When (Sydney Dancers), Quando When Quando (Vera Fisher & Teresa Lawrence), The Outback (Gordon Elliott), Zydeco Lady (Chris Hookie), Along For The Ride (Terry Hogan), Cinco De Mayo (Jo Thompson & Alan Livett), Sunset Stampede (Ian StLeon), Jambalaya (Ian StLeon), Fly Like A Bird (Hedy McAdams), Chevy (Sal Gonzalez), T-Bone Shuffle (Peter Metelnik) and Southern Streamline (Mack Apaapa) and Ghost Rider (Gordon Elliott). One of the requests I recognized was Simon Ward's A Little Bit Of Love, but I couldn't remember all the patterns ...love the music!
There was no way for me to tell an old dance from a new, but I could tell a beginner from an intermediate ...and I went on the floor several times to join in to do the easier dances. I had a great time and was looked after by some really friendly dancers!
Illawarra Country Bootscooters ...home dance club to Simon Ward holds their Wednesday night class and open line dancing at the Yallah Woolshed ...10 minutes south of Wollongong. Charlotte Skeeters was the guest instructor here the first Wednesday in February at Tom Glover's class ...she taught her Fill My Life to the 98+ mixed aged group of dancers and instructors that filled the floor. I was filled with awe as Tom called up to the stage all the club members who participated in the competitions at Tamworth ...Maddison Glover is the youngest ...she is 5, but Simon tells us she was doin' a perfect Hot Tamales at age 18 months!
Some of the choreography I noticed in open dancin' were: Por Ti Sere (Jo Thompson), Hillbilly Rock, Hillbilly Roll (Hillbilly Rick), Open Arms (Ward, Gonzalez & Snyder), Black and White Cha Cha (Terry Hogan), Head Over Heals (Justine Shuttleworth), Fudge It (Simon Ward), Rock This Planet (Carl Sullivan), Hey Bruce (Michael Barr), Pot of Gold (Liam Hrycan), and The Rose (Julie Molkner). Tom Glover's (Horizonal Desire) was the newest dance recommended to me as being the next new hit ...and Terry Hogan's (Me Too) was the oldie dance that I saw being done at every single dance floor I visited while in OZ.
Queensland is the home of Terry Hogan and his Monday Night DieHard Dancers otherwise known locally as G.C.O's ...Charlotte Skeeters was the guest instructor at the 'first class after the holiday break' the last Monday in January. Many dancers here tonight were just back from the Tamworth Festival ...86 dancers filled the wooden floor this night to learn 5 new dances. Charlotte began with an easy one ...Neil Hale's Storybook Endings. She taught 3 of her own ...just Bob, A Country Star, and Begin The Beguine. She ended the evening with Bill Bader's Wow.
The bottom line is ...A brand new dancer to your community will always feel that there are too many new dances to learn. Even an experienced advanced champion line dancer of the entire world would feel lost when visiting other dance venues if new 'international hit' dances were not being introduced into a community. In the San Francisco Bay Area the instructors may be the 'experts' who choose a 'panel of best dances' and decide which intermediate/advanced and beginner level dances to teach, but the line dancers decide which dances become request list favorites at their socials and which dances fall by the wayside.
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