A Line Dance Time Line © 0902 Doris Volz, CA,USA  - more line dance steps Line Dance Fun .com  - line dance history - T. Hogan's Journey
Line Dance has evolved... Line Dance  is an American dance technique that has been around since the 1970's. Fad dances come and go but the components we use in line dance (shuffles, cha cha basics, waltz basics) are the same basic building blocks used for other forms of social dancing. Line Dance is performed by individuals or "organized groups" and currently is a popular dance form all over the world. The current state of Line Dance at the turn of the new millennium is that it is no longer restricted to any one form of music. In the San Francisco Bay Area there are Country Western Bars for the social dancer who only wants to line dance to the easily recognizable music to the line dance standards AND we also have line dance classes taught by teachers every night in the community centers and halls of the towns in which we live. I feel new line dances are vital stimulants ...and classes and 'dance festivals' are where the "newest" dances are tried out by the experienced dancers. At Pismo 2002 dancers had a choice on Saturday night ...line dance the oldies on a wood floor at the Woman's Club w/ DJ-Manfredi, or line dance the newer ones w/Gene Morrill at the Regional Center.  

 If a line dance is good ...it will be around long enough to make its way into classes/socials ...and bar room scenes across the world!  WAY BACK in 1996 on the Whaler's Deck in Pismo Beach, CA ....Sal Gonzalez entered his OOO! AAH! into the New Line Choreography. I remember how difficult the dance seemed to me when Sal told us to leave off the first 16 counts of the dance starting with the 6th wall ....because "the ooh aah's go away in the music" ...Sal's dance didn't place first that year ....but it is danced worldwide at events and in country western bars in 2002!  Pismo 2002 1st place award in New Line Choreography went to Bay Area choreographers Rich & Melody Beard - South Side Stomp - 2 wall, pattern sequence dance. South Side Stomp (South Side Stomp - Jenai.).  Rich Beard's easy beginner dance is  Fast Girl (Fast Girl  -The Tractors).

For dedicated dancers and their instructors "the big event" is an important part of their calendar. Bay Area dancers take the opportunity to learn the best line dance has to offer at an affordable price. Line Dance is the reason to travel, but for me the magic is: Dressing up in our western clothes and dancin' with friends, Seeing a new dance that I have heard of ...brought to life on a "new dance floor" and Meeting the choreographers that have been blessed with the talent to create a good dance for the enjoyment of others.
-- Doris Volz, ©January, 1999, Line Dance Fun
 ~ (the only change I would make to this statement in 2002 ...the words 'western clothes' would change to dance attire.) Mr. Max Perry was the first flamboyant ...glittery line dancer! He seemed oddly dressed back in 1997 - 1998 ...he was a head of the time! Las Vegas in 1999 at the Desert Sands Dance Festival ...Mr. Kippy did a brisk business. The ladies in the west coast swing ballroom were all in 'dance heels' and short clingy skirts and non-fringed blouses. Ms Jo Thompson wore clingy dance trousers and ballroom heels Saturday evening so as to dance in BOTH ballrooms! Our youngest role models in our dance community ...Ana & John Burton were the first to be seen with jazz dance shoes in line dance class. In 2002, most events and most instructors sell 'logo' shirts that dancers wear to lessons/socials. There were NO shirts available in 2002 with the Pismo logo. 

Line Dance instruction ...has it evolved?  John Robinson dances in perfect posture, never loosing his center of gravity. It takes muscle flexibility and strength to be able to isolate and move one part of the body to a beat while the rest of the body remains motionless. It takes coordination, skill and practice to isolate muscles and layer their movement smoothly and gracefully to the beat of the music. His frame polished the appearance of his dance on Friday, by Sunday John was back in the zone isolating and layering. Mr. Showcase can dance, but he is a line dance instructor. He showed the pattern and described body placement and direction for each step. He walked us through the pattern with words, then numbers. He repeated the name of the dance many times and gave quick visualizations to help remember a pattern or a sequence. He played the music for step practice before the entire teach was finished. He has a light and easy manner, but remained in total control of the workshop.

The Pismo 2002 workshops were NOT full. John Robinson  easily scanned his workshop of 30 to 60 dancers determined their skill level or a 'problem' area and adjusted accordingly. I feel many teachers and dancers do not realize that the mind must be trained to operate on many different levels at once in order to absorb the teach, never mind trying to look graceful while executing the steps. John teaches 'technique' that will add to your smoothness; he gives directional instruction that make steps into the same dance no matter the direction. He taught to the level of 'most' of the dancers at the event. His newest dance Honey What?! brought dancers on the floor during Sunday open dancing, they were dancing, not following.
John Robinson is an entertaining line dance instructor and a professional dance judge who happens to also be a champion line dancer. It always amazes me that new line choreography can be judged by those who are not experienced line dancers  ...John would have been an asset to the new line choreography competition at Pismo 2002. BUT I am sure that the 'team competition dancers' were thrilled to see him judging on their sidelines! I recognized the music and steps in the routines for No Matter To Me (Jackie Miranda), Diamonds Are Forever (Neil Hale), Rednex Stomp and Cherokee Boogie (Chris Kumre.)  Moonlight Magic (our dancin' ladies from Gilroy, CA) put on a great routine ...I'm sure even John missed the one who was dancin' bassackwards half their floor time ...she danced perfect pattern ...just was lookin' at the wrong line of team mates. A fabulous variation!
John Robinson is on line at http://www.mrshowcase.com ...stop by and download his newest steps, look through his online merchandise, and read his written tribute to 911 ...this yound man who always smiles on the dance floor, also smiles from withing his heart!  California line dancers can catch up with John in November at JP Potter's Fall Fling ...he won't be instructing ...he is coming just to support JP in his new event and to line dance with us.

PISMO WESTERN DAYS - EVENT DIRECTORS: VERN & LOIS BLACK
Bottom Line:  Sorry to report that the same reasons for not attending Pismo Western Days still exist. Venues spread out all over town and no street addresses or adequate maps given out to assist new dancers to the area, two different Saturday Evening line dance socials, no organization to workshop teach dances what so ever, no communication at the event except by word of mouth, ABSOLUTELY no respect for the dancers time; new line choreography competition went one hour fifteen minutes into the evening social and no list anywhere  to acknowledge  the line dance judges. Most years the 6-sided Regional Center linoleum floor has been sticky; this year our toes were in cramps from gripping the slippery floor. I have no list of dances taught at the workshops/new choreography I can publish. Instructors were generous with their time and kind enough to teach 'whatever' the dancers requested since the 'schedule' contained multiple duplicates and as many as 3 different venues to drive to. Only by word of mouth did any one dancer hear what was really taught at a workshop. Step sheets were available in singles everywhere if you wanted to collect them.
I had a great time each evening dancing the newest dances and Pat Tharp and the Moonlight Madness dancers had a great time at the Woman's Club ...it would have been nice if we had gotten to line dance together. The Regional Center social was scheduled to end at 11:30pm on Saturday ...Vern started the 'clean up' procedure at 11:08. Without a table or even a chair  ...we didn't feel welcome anymore and  we left. I almost never leave a social early!

After 'stalling' for 45 minutes on Sunday 'team' competition commenced at 9:45am with 5 teams competing and entertaining us between 'open dancing'. At 11:30am we were told awards ceremony would begin at 1pm ...as tempted as I was to dance on that large, fabulous wooden dance floor at the Vet's Hall for 90 more minutes ...the drive back to the San Francisco Bay Area after 2pm on a Sunday afternoon loomed BIG in my mind. 
 -PISMO is a mid-state prime location and we line dancers want desperately to dance with the SoCAl diehard dancers again ...just like the good ol' days! Can someone who knows how to run a line dance event hire that smooth wooden floor at the Vet's Hall for a separate weekend in September and let the line dancers DANCE TOGETHER?.

 

Highlights:  Sal took a break from teaching couples and dropped by to line dance with us ... we loved remembering Dancing With You (Sal Gonzalez).
We got to dance Silk & Satin (Evelyn Khinoo), San Antone Rose (Mike Sliter), Finally Friday and his brand new You Gotta Dance (Bob Boesel), The Teacher and The Preacher (Trish Boesel), Steppin' Back To Country (Gary Clayton/Charyle Hartje) and Turn The Radio Up (Bonnie Sayre) with them. 
JP Potter handled the challenge of leading us in his Candlelight with a grade of A- ....that is one hard waltz for most of us ...try it in a 6-sided room on slick linoleum. He had no trouble with Deja Vu or Everlast and he passed the 'good sport' test with his front row participation in the unscheduled teach of the Casper Stomp! Bob Boesel sat the teach out, un heard of!
I have been told that the DJ gig can be a thankless job ...diehards whine the loudest ...I am aware of that ...cause we want to dance to what is hot and we want to see what is new. We also know it is important for us to help fill the floor ...only 3 brand new 'hot' dances is our request and at least 8 dancers must be on the floor to dance the dance ...that is fair in a venue that plays 46+ requests in 3+ hours. Right now, Like It or Lump It and A New Day Has Come (Simon Ward) and If Tomorrow Never Comes (Michael Vera-Lobos) are fast intermediate+ dances; Gene played all 3 for us.

What I have learned that may be of interest to YOU: In line dance instruction I need to know which direction I am turning ...'the words clockwise and counter clockwise take additional computation for me ...cause I have to stop and think ...is that left or right? ...last night in class I listened intently ...no left or right was mentioned in that 'quarter turn, half turn cue, not even at the beginning teach of just 'words'. I realize that 99% of the time we use one foot after the other ...which is why a stomp up (stamp) is so hard for me ...but in my mind I have to know "am I turning left or right on EACH direction change". I now realize that I dance with my hands as an external sign of an internal thought of 'left or right' in my mind's eye. It is easy to listen to the words for the steps and figure out or filter the counts and hard to make myself think quick ...is this turn right or left and then remember separately left, left, right direction changes in the dance I am being taught. When I internalized my left, left, right direction while learning the pattern ...I danced the back wall with no trouble while I concentrated. Most dancers follow the instructor's feet as I am very used to doing when first learning a new dance. Both Peter Metelnick and John Robinson incorporated directional changes in their word instruction and that is why I was able to dance the back walls without difficultly in their workshops. And They Danced & Rainbow 66 (Peter Metelnick), Honey What?! (John Robinson) and appropriately Teach Me To Dance (Dawn Sherlock) are now significant memories for me. 

Achy Breaky (Melanie Greenwood), Ain't Going Nowhere (Lori Wong), All My X's Live In Texas (U) , All Shook Up (Randy & Stephanie Krul), Alley Cat (Donna Aiken), Amalgamotion (Sue Shotwell/Dan Speed), Applejack (U), Arlene (George Davis), Baby Likes To Rock It (Hillbilly Rick), Bar Room Romeo (Ron Holliday),  Bocephus (Bill Rice), Bonanza (Driskell/Mead), Boot Scootin' Boogie (Mattax & Blair), Cha Cha Lengua  (Neil Hale), Chocolate City Hustle (U), Copperhead Road (U), Cotton Eyed Joe (U), Cowgirls' Twist (Bill Bader), Cruisin' (Neil Hale),  Dance Ranch Romp (Jo Thompson), Double Duchess (U), Electric Slide/Elvira (U), Elvis and Andy (Charlie Fortenberry), Fireman (George Davis),  Five O'clock Stomp (Diane Horner), Flying 8 (Kentucky Ken Engel),  Gatlin Boogie (Tony Curso & Denise Pothier), Go-Go's Stomp (Gloria & Emmitt Nelson), God Blessed Texas (Shirley Batson), Hawaiian Hustle (Sue Shotwell), Heartbreak Hotel (Max Perry), Honkey Tonk Twist (Max Perry), Hooked on Country (U), Horsin' Around (aka Trashy Women - Dick & Geneva Matteis) Hot Tamales (Neil Hale),  Linda Lu (Neil Hale), Lost In Texas (Jim Williams), Metamorphosized (James ). Kellerman), Mudslide Boogie (Lori Wong), Midnight Waltz (Jo Thompson), Mustang Sally (Neil Hale),  Norma Jean (Donna & Dena Wasnick), Prancing Pony (Neil Hale),  Rednex Stomp), Rock Around the Clock (U), Rodeo (Dale White), Slappin' Leather (Gayle Brandon), Stampede (Mary Kay Beltramini & Charlie Steak - the DJ would always said 'the Old one" ...I never, ever saw the new one!), Reggae Cowboy (U), Stray Cat Strut (U), Syncopations (Annette Marsey-Carter), Tornado (Michelle Stremcha), Traveling 4 Corners (U), Tropicana Parking Lot (Patrick W. Riley), Tumbleweed (U - 29 count), Tush Push (2 claim as authors), Walkin' Wazi (Callahan/Getty),  Waltz Across Texas (Lois & John Nielson), Watermelon Crawl (Sue Lipscomb), Wild, Wild West Boogie, and Zydeco Lady (Chris Hookie)
Vintage step sheets for Tornado (Michelle Stremcha) and Rodeo (Dale White).

The above are the 61 standards that I can recall dancing on the California Country Western Bar Room scene circa 1992 - 1994. At least 13 were written by authors (U) unknown, At least 20 (dances in blue and red) were created by Californians. Neil Hale (6 dances in red), Hillbilly Rick, Bill Bader, Max Perry and Jo Thompson are line dance icons. Patrick W. Riley (Mr. Tropicana Parking Lot) was one of the line dance judges at Pismo 2002 ...He is a Californian.