THE COWS COME HOME
Saturday, March 25th, 2000
Hosted by Michele Burton and Michael Barr
Featuring: Line and Couples workshop classes
Workshops: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Workshop: 6:45pm - 7:15pm
Dance: 7:15pm - 11:00pm
Options: Workshop - Dance - Dinner
Dinner & Dance
New Boogie T-Shirt is available NOW!!!!!
Space limited - Dinner & Pre-Registration Deadline -
March 15th, 2000 (but
Contact: Michele Burton - phone/ 530-824-6888
Michael Barr - phone/ 650-327-1405
Call for more details: registration forms, directions,
hotel and other
......AND BOOGIE UP THE ROAD TO WHERE THE COWS ARE ALWAYS
MICHELE & MICHAEL
Michele Burton and Michael
Barr - Home from the United Kingdom
...here are their Trip highlights
Hello dancers. Michele and I returned from the United
Kingdom feeling about as lucky as two people can. We
danced with wonderful people, taught workshops and took
classes and had plenty of time to be the classic tourist.
We have nicked named our trip "The Holiday
We were both invited initially to join the British
celebrate 'our" 4th of July at a big event in the
west country near the sea shore of Torquay. 500 plus
dancers didn't have one bit of trouble celebrating.
Michele and I had this continuous look on our faces of
utter confusion. We just kept shaking our heads over the
irony of it all. We couldn't figure out
whether the Brits were celebrating getting rid of the
rebels we had become back in the 1800's or that this was
just another excuse to have a party and dress up. We will
report back if we ever figure out which it is:>)
We saw more Red, White and Blue clothing and flags and
decorations at this wonderful Hotel in the hills above
the sea then any celebration in the States. Barton Hall,
the place of the weekend event run by Viv and Malcolm
Owen, found Michele and I entering what was to become a
great relaxing experienced.
Did I say the weekend event was relaxing? Yes, and here
is why. The way it works is this; the site is a holiday
resort with big dining rooms, ball rooms and open space
with great views. As a group we gathered for dinner at
7pm on Friday evening. We got to meet so many people and
also sit with 6 others relax and get to know each other a
bit better. There was a dance in two different ball rooms
(Country and Alternative/Country).
all met back in the dining room at 9am for breakfast the
next morning. Then at 10am the workshops began (we loved
this start time). At 1pm lunch was served and workshops
resumed at 2:30pm. This schedule repeated itself
throughout the weekend. It's hard to know if we did more
dancing or eating! Eating was just as much
fun as dancing, especially when trying to decide which
spoon to use or wondering what "gataeux" may
be. Even though most of the food was good, we would have
to suggest passing on the fried bread.
We both loved the schedule. We had ample time to spend
with new friends over our meals, plenty of time to get to
workshops and a more relaxed feeling as teachers. The
only thing that made us very tired was the fact that none
of us retired for the evening until well past 2 or 3pm.
The celebrating was intense and fun. The DJ's made sure
Lots of energy, skits, dancing, demos, more dancing, etc.
At the end of the Sunday dance and the end of the dancing
part of the event we took part in some kind of ritual
last dance which we never got the name of.
You sit on the floor, legs apart, scooting up close
behind another dancer, then proceeding with the DJ
leading exercises to some favorite piece of music.
Although it was hard to bend too far over (body had had
it by then) the group energy made it happen. The hall was
filled with music, dancers rolling from side to side and
forward and back and the colors of America flying
everywhere. Something to experience. And it wasn't over
met for breakfast the next morning (Monday) to say
goodbye to many who were able to stay over. We all packed
up the cars and caravans and went on our merry way. This
was a really nice closure to a fun-filled weekend.
One last thing about the event. The classes on Sunday
were the same dances taught on Saturday. Personally we
both liked it a lot. The dancers could then either take
the same class as a review or take what they missed from
the previous day. We thought it worked really well. We
were able to have most of the dancers take our classes
and do our dances.
(Michele's were - That's All She Wrote, new 2 step line
dance. I See
It Now - her waltz.
Michael's were - What's Your Name and Give It Up. Got
a chance to do a beginner workshop and What Ever was
Our thanks go to Viv and Malcolm Owen for making the
weekend and our visit so memorable. We continued on to
Viv's class the next night and to Ali and Dave's class (
our meal partners at Barton Hall ) the following night.
The rest of the trip was a bit more casual (as if it was
not casual enough). With the help of Ambrose Donahue (a
wonderful fellah from the London area who is a prominent
DJ and works with partner Jill Thompson, one of England's
best teachers) who secured 3 workshops for us, we had
plenty of time off to be tourists.
We visited Wales and went in search of castles. We found
them. With the help of line dance friends, Hedley
Williams and his partner Val, we were shown the not so
often visited west end of the country. We were treated to
beautiful ocean views (with dolphins) as well as some of
the prettiest country side and some of the skinniest
roads we had driven on (yes, we drove on the wrong side
of the street). We traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland a
place which took our breath away. The city was a walkers
delight. The architecture was breathtaking. We walked one
day from 9am to 9pm and thought it was time to go back to
our accomodations, although it was still very light out
and wouldn't get dark until 11pm. This is definitely a
place to put on your itinerary if you're a traveler.
Thanks Charlotte for making the suggestion.
Back to the dance world, we did workshops for Ambrose and
Jill, Bill and Paula Bilby and Lewis Watson. This last
one found most of the hosts of our previous workshops in
attendance. We got to see familiar faces again.
Michele was really happy to meet up with some folks she
hadn't seen in over a year. Ambrose and Jill had taken us
there from their home outside of London. There is a motor
way called the "orbital"(appropriately named
since it circles London). We spent many an hour on this
motor way and is the busiest roadway either of us had
ever experienced. This road is called the largest car
park in Europe.
(Our thanks go out to all of our hosts who made our trip
Our last night in England was spent dancing. We went back
to Jill's class (she will be teaching at the GGC this
October - don't miss her classes).
Not only did we want to be with her and Ambrose, this was
their last night at this club which they had been at for
3 years. Jill had brought out many of the new dances at
this club and had debuted many dances choreographed in
the Bay and surrounding areas. We were honored to be
there and to take part in this last evening with friends.
Jill was in great spirits and was throwing one liners at
me during a review of a dance. We played off each other
and had a blast.
Michele and I were asked to perform our duo one last time
(we had done this piece, choreographed by Michele and
Simon Ward at most of the workshops). We had a ball and
the dancers were very appreciative. Our last night was
Michele and I saw old friends and made new ones on this
trip. We met people from Ireland, Wales, England &
Scotland. The beauty of the countryside (want to go to
Ireland next), the richness of the history and it's
people and the love of dancing makes this a wonderful
place to visit, and visit again.
Lion's Bay by Michele Burton
Another wonderful weekend of dancing in one of the most
beautiful places in the world...
Mill Bay British Columbia was the site for the 6th Annual
Cowichan Goes Country. Hosted by the Cross Country
Dancers, the event was a mix of Canadian and American
friendship at it's best.
Classes were full of enthusiastic dancers who seemingly
cheered for every dance taught during the weekend.
Instructors felt, and appreciated the high energy level.
Couples and line classes were taught throughout the
weekend. Lots of good dances were brought back from the
event so be looking for them in your classes soon.
The Saturday evening dinner, choreography, and team
competition is always an extremely unique part of the
weekend. Twenty choreographers showcased their dances
before a crowd of about 500 spectators. Each spectator
has a ballot and votes for their favorite dance. It's no
secret that the Americans have never won the coveted
First Place honor, and in our "loving American
way," we moan, groan, and complain because WE never
The Canadians take it all in stride and chuckle as we
continue to enter dances each year in quest of the
eluding prize. We've worn costumes, done silly acts, and
solicited votes to capture those phantom votes. We must
have been a little worn out this year because there were
no costumes and no silly acts, but there was one big
breakthrough about to occur. At 10:45 pm we all gathered
to listen to results. The announcments began.
"In third place, from Vancouver, B.C. Dee Cresden,
Ember Schion, and Sheila Smith.
In second place, from Victoria, B.C., Betty Clark.
In first place, from PALO ALTO, CA, MICHAEL BARR with the
dance WHAT'S YOUR NAME."
Everyone in the place cheered. We cheered because it was
Michael and California....The Canadians cheered because
they love Michael and his choreography. It was a winning
situation for everyone that evening. Congratulations
On Monday, Michele Perron and Brian Bull invited Michael
and I to their home in Lion's Bay. It was such a pleasure
to spend time with them. So often at events there is
little time for socializing so this was the perfect
opportunity to enjoy some free time together.
The foliage, vegetation, and view from Brian and
Michele's home is breathtaking. I offered to house sit or
cat sit any time they had to leave town! As we relaxed
and chatted on the deck, we discovered only one
difference in philosophy.
Michele feeds the Blue Jays....I shoot the Blue Jays
(just kidding). After a short rest, we headed to dinner
and to class at The Bistro. Michael and I thoroughly
enjoyed teaching at this venue. Michele's class welcomed
us with open arms and dancing feet.
Our dances, What's Your Name and I See It Now were well
received. Michele's dance influence is quite apparent in
her students technique and abilities. Way to go Michele
Another year, another Cowichan. Memories and friends are
made with each visit. If you need a scenic, romantic,
breathtaking, dancing hideaway, try Cowichan Goes Country
Michael and I want to say thanks to everyone who attended
and contributed to the success of Boogie Til The Cows
Come Home. The day was filled with fun-loving energy from
all the participants, as well as with a mix of new and
experienced dancers. We feel fortunate to be part of this
supportive dance community.
A special thanks to Cindy and Gordon Lambert (guest
instructors), Allison Davis (lasagna dinner), Ray
Berchtold (evening DJ), Sheron Nunes, Dancin' Granny,
Denise Hiatt, Jenny Holt, and Patti O'Day.
Thanks also goes out to several friends who shared their
special talents with the crowd during dinner. They were:
The Buffalo Girls (Danette Petersen, Susan Skaggs,
Beverly Sommerfeld), The Bovine Beauties (Nancy Franklin,
Carlene Silva), and The Country Gold Dancers (Cathie
We had a great day. The positive feedback and smiles are
See you in:
Klamath Falls Cascade Ctry Classic August 20 - 22
Pismo Beach Western Days Sept. 17 - 19
Yuba City Twin Cities Oct. 2 - 3
Union City Golden Gate Classic Oct. 8 - 10
La Verne I.C.E Oct. 22 - 24
Las Vegas Desert Sands Nov. 19 - 21
Ft. Wayne, Indiana
March 5-7, 1999
Competition- 1st Place:
Michael Barr & Michele Burton, California
Their winning duo routine was choreographed by Michele
Burton and Simon Ward for the '98 Golden Gate Classic
here in the Bay Area. The routine is danced to Thank
You Baby by Delbert McClinton, Younger
Men by K.T. Oslin, and Save
A Prayer by The Mavericks.
Original Choreography - 1st. Place:
Michael Barr & Michele Burton, California
The winning partner mixer dance ...Poor Boy Shuffle Mixer
...was premiered here in California at the Boogie
Til the Cows Come Home event in
Corning on the 20th of March 1999.
Original Choreography: out of 61 entries
5th place went to Hallelujah Junction by Michele Burton,
The midwest in
March....chilly!!! A two block walk in 14 degree weather
was enough for these two wimps. Good thing we were inside
most of the time.
Good fate was with us last weekend. Not only did the
weather cooperate at the right time, but we also had the
assistance of some friends in demoing Poor Boy Shuffle
Mixer. When we arrived in Fort Wayne at midnite on Friday
we hooked up with, Tobi Oberman, Russ, James Kellerman
(M.I.B., Metamorphized), and Shannon Finnigan
(Destination Nowhere, Cowboy Up) and taught/reviewed Poor
Boy Shuffle. Without them, we would not have been able to
demo or enter our dance in the choreography competition.
Dance friends are the best.
In knowing what a team does in preparation for
performances, I was once again impressed with the number
of teams and entries at Dance Team Showdown. The Show
Stopper category is my favorite. The entertainment value,
humor, props, creativity, and choreography in this
division is awesome. It's basically anything (in good
taste) goes. All the routines were good, but my favorites
were the Clowns (Out of Line Dancers, Canada) and the
Irish River Dance performance (Louisville, KY). These
clowns had broadway style choreography, wonderful props,
costumes,and musical interpretation. The Irish River
Dancers showed a great demonstration of their dance
versatility. Of course these teams also entered several
other categories of competition. I don't know when they
have time to prepare everything. It's a real show of
talent and commitment.
Watching Dale and Tanya orchestrate this event was a
treat in itself. Both are calm, cool and collected. Tanya
is like a quiet, yet serious mother hen, taking it all it
and guiding her leaders in the right direction. Dale is
the playful, yet intense character who stays in contact
with his staff by head set, has time to participates in
his team's Blues Brothers comedy act, and shows his
patriotism in the flag waving closure to God Bless The
U.S.A. The two have so much to offer to the dance team
community. Their belief in the team concept shines in all
On Monday, Michael and I took a train into downtown
Chicago. After a visit to the 103 story high Sears Tower,
we ventured off to Marshall Fields. Little did I know it
was a 9 story department store!! Next time forget the
Sears Tower stuff...let's go shopping! It's a beautiful
store. Even if you don't like to shop, it's a must see.
Monday evening C.J. arranged for us to teach at Cadillac
Ranch. This was the evening it snowed 7 inches. Much to
our amazement, people still came out to dance. Michael
taught Give It Up and I taught Hallelujah. Those folks
got two aerobic dances in one night...bet they got a good
night's sleep that evening.
Our 5 day trip came to end on Tuesday when we returned
home. We had a great time and brought back lots of
Instructor/Advanced Level Line Dance
& Duo Competitor/Choreographer/Team
Choreographer/Line Dance Judge
In a funny sort of way, dancing has
been part for my life for a long time. As a youngster, my
mother MADE me take dance lessons to help me overcome my
shyness. When she discovered I'd only practice behind
closed doors, she gave up on me! The only difference
today is I make myself get out on the floor to compete.
I'd much rather practice and dance in the garage.
I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for the first 18
years of my life. Mom and dad supported all the sports
activities my brother and I were involved in. We were the
built in entertainment for family activities. Forty years
later, things haven't changed much. Mom is involved in
the dance community and morally supported my brother
through his motorcycle racing days (she didn't like
watching him break bones), while dad now quietly makes
his presence known from his station in heaven.
After graduating from high school, I knew it was time to
spread my wings and fly. That flight brought me to the
rural area of Northern California to attend Chico State
and later take a teaching position at Corning High
School. Twenty-three years later I feel like a permanent
fixture on the high school campus.
Corning is a nice place to raise children. My daughter
Darci, age 16, is quite successful in school and sports.
As like the previous generation, I support Darci's
activities, as mom and dad supported mine. It's
volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter and
track in the spring, along with Club volleyball in the
winter, spring, and summer!
So, when is there time to dance? There is ALWAYS time to
dance. The C/W world provides many avenues for
exploration. Whether it's social dancing, competing,
teaching, choreographing, or team dancing, there's
something for everyone. For me, the longevity of dance
remains because there are many avenues to pursue.
Competing is a challenge. The excitement, anxiety, and
enjoyment is a total rush. Teaching comes in a more
natural way since I teach students to move everyday in
physical education. When it comes to choreography, I tend
to create "non-mainstream, high energy" dances.
I'm trying to come around to the mainstream, but those 12
years of dance/drill team advisor experience seems to
influence my choreography. Team choreography has a
special place in my heart. Our team, The Derringer
Dancers, was together for four years. An exceptional bond
of friendship made our team uniquely successful.
As time marches on, new challenges and priorities come to
the forefront. The main priorities will continue to be my
daughter and a newfound relationship with a very special
person. In the dance world, teaching continues to be a
focus. I especially enjoy the people I meet, the
appreciation from the students, country music, and the
friends made in the dance community.