Along For The Ride
Black & White Cha Cha
On Your Toes
Step By Step
Too Much Fun
Who Needs It
Instructor/Choreographer/DJ/Event Director "Sunshine State Classic" Brisbane, Australia
Just returned from a workshop weekend in Darwin - a flying visit literally, with no time to explore, but as I will be back in May for the Top End Muster ( Lee Walling's event ) with more time to play tourist I shouldn't complain too much.
Darwin is Australia's most northerly large city and is a great place for a holiday (or a stop over on the way to Bali ) as long as you like the tropics. I have to admit some trepidation about the weather at this time of the year having only visited previously in " The Dry " or winter, and finding that quite warm enough for me, but the weather proved quite agreeable on the whole and of course almost everything is airconditioned -it is actually hotter and more humid here at present - but I shouldn't get started about the weather!!!
With only a small population the number of dancers is low, but what they lack in numbers they make up for in enthusiam, and on every visit I am surprised at the number of dances that the group knows, and how ' up to date' they are with the dances that are popular in the southern states - Darwin is 3,000 kilometres from Brisbane, so it's a long way for the dancers to travel to see what others are doing!!
I taught 7 dances during a 5
hour workshop and as usual left everyone
totally exhausted but keen to come back in a couple of hours for 5 hours of social dancing - we're a strange breed aren't we? The dances that were taught were:
Never Enough ( Jan Wyllie) - 32 count beginner Cha Cha,
Give It Up - Michael Barr's latest,
Reaching Out -Charlotte Skeeters,
Too Much Fun, Tequila Blues and Okie Boogie - all recent dances of mine, as well as trying out my new waltz ( fast and tricky I'm told although the steps themselves are easy) - this is not officially
released yet so it was a "guinea pig teach" - the step description will be available on this site when released of course!
The most popular dances were Reaching Out and Too Much Fun and both were requested a couple of times at the social. Reaching Out is one of my favourites to teach as I always get a kick out of watching the dancers get totally confused initially, and it never fails to have everyone laughing as there is always one person who goes the wrong way to cause total bedlam.
There were lots of dances on the
social play list, both new and older, that will be known by the
Bay Area dancers including Cha Cha Lengua, Peace Train, My Girl's
Waltz, All-Right-A, Senorita Sway, Me Too, Looking Good, Huey
Lewie, Fly Like a Bird, Tequila Rose Cha
Cha, Patient Heart, Hey Bruce, Chevy, Pencil Thin Moustache, Shipwrecked, Dizzy, MMM Bop, Silk and Satin, Brown Eyed Girl, Funky Farmer, Smokey Places, Southern Streamline, Hardwood Stomp, Chains, Conrado Cha Cha, Get Over It, Sweet Temptation, Still The Same, Black Coffee, Titanic, A Waltz In Time, Razor Sharp, Desert Sands Cha Cha, Perfect Love, Black & White Cha Cha, Younger Men, and Bella's Cha Cha.
As usual Lee and her hard
working group wined and dined me to excess and I came home with a
very real need for sleep after the late nights. If anyone is
interested in visiting Australia in April / May, Darwin is a stop
you should make for the muster on the first weekend in May. There
will be competitors and instructors from all over Australia and
New Zealand, as well as your own Hedy McAdams and the one and
only Knox Rhine as international instructors. Anyone after more
information should email Lee Walling ; email@example.com.
- I'll see you there!
My introduction to country dancing began in 1988 within a couple of days of arriving in the US for what was to be a working holiday, I was taken into a bar where I watched in fascination as singles and couples danced to country music. It looked like they were all having such a great time and it was such a relief from "disco" that I immediately inquired as to where classes were held, and the next night I was there at 7 p.m. for my first lesson. This started a period of dancing six, sometimes even seven nights a week - classes and social dancing anywhere I could find with country music.
After almost a year away, I returned home expecting never to be able to line dance again, only to find that in my absence it had started in Australia. At the first opportunity I investigated the local scene and as it happened when word "got around" that I had been in the 'States, I was asked to demonstrate - and then to teach some of the dances I had learned - that's how it started!!
I taught and DJ'd for a couple of years at weekends before being approached by a suburban hotel to hold a class there and within a couple of weeks by another and then another, and before I knew or was ready for it I was having a tough time maintaining my "real job" and teaching most nights. After much soul searching I decided to try teaching full time, the first in Australia to make the leap - and much to my surprise I'm still doing it today.
My choreography comes from nothing more than the desire to dance to music I like. This is how and why I choreograph - I hear a song I like and dance to it, and if I do something that I like for my own satisfaction and the fact that many of these dances are taken upon by others is always a great thrill and often a surprise. I don't know how some choreographers can do the steps then find the music -this is quite an alien concept to me - I know I could never do it that way.
A background as a professional dancer obviously makes it easy for me to understand the mechanics of dance and movement and having taught various styles including ballroom dance I enjoy the variety that has come into line dance from the different types of dance over the last couple of years.
Trying to keep up with the current trends in country dance I travel to the US at least once a year and over the past few years I have had the pleasure of meeting many of the US choreographers whose work is taught here. I have been a guest instructor at several large CWLDA & CWDI competitions in various parts of the 'States,, as well as teaching at several clubs across the country, and it is my involvement with these events that have made me an advocate for the introduction of a more structured competition format in this country.
During the last two years especially, my travels have also included every major city and many of the larger cities in Australia to hold workshops where I get to meet the "local" teachers and many choreographers whose work I am happy to report is now making an impact in the US as well as here in Australia.
As the line dance phenomenon continues to spread over the country I get more and more calls saying "I've just learned one of your dances, would you send me any other dances you've done" or words to that effect...as an attempt to get correct dance step descriptions "signed" by the choreographer more widely available...
Terry Hogan has published a step description book containing 34 dances...The Choreography of Terry Hogan..his step description sheets have his address/fax printed on them...his book sells for 12 US dollars.
click to read The Story Behind His Non Country Music to Dances