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Good for the Sole

I am an avid social dancer. I used to go out multiple times a week—to a local establishment for line dancing and country two-step and a local studio for west coast swing—but it won’t surprise anyone to hear that all of my regular dance venues are currently closed. Thankfully, I am still able to get together with my friends for a little bit of “social dist-dancing” on Sundays. We meet up in a nearby parking lot (keeping six feet apart, of course), blast our favorite songs, and dance to our hearts’ content—or at least until our knees have had enough of the asphalt.   

Before the shelter-in-place, my friends and I frequented a popular establishment in Fremont, California. Both my friend and I were regular instructors there, each of us teaching line dancing about twice a month. Doors opened at 7:00pm, we’d be on the mic from 7:30-9:00pm for lessons with a brief break in between, and then social dancing began, with music alternating between a live band and a DJ throughout the night. Unfortunately, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, this establishment has closed indefinitely.

While closed venues and cancelled conventions have been an inevitable part of this normal-for-now, I’ve also seen an incredible amount of online opportunities come out of this. Thanks to social media and various video conferencing platforms, private lessons, group dance classes, and online events are widely available across all dance disciplines. I’ve personally participated in a series of virtual line dance workshops dubbed Digital Dance Weekend via Facebook Live.  

Contrary to popular belief, line dancing isn’t just about country music—and never has been. It’s actually quite popular the world over and includes all genres of music. A line dance can be an elegant, whimsical waltz, a sassy, speedy cha cha, or a slow, somber nightclub two-step, just to name a few. It all depends on the song. And, although line dance is prevalent in the country scene, it is also rather prominent in the international dance circuit. Line dance conventions are held all across the globe; in fact, several of my favorite choreographers reside overseas. A perfect example of all this is one of my new favorite line dances, Feel the Heat, which goes to Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) and was released in March by Maddison Glover of Australia and José Miguel Belloque Vane and Roy Verdonk of the Netherlands. CopperKnob is a website dedicated entirely to keeping track of these dances; you can look them up by name, by song, by choreographer, or by popularity at https://www.copperknob.co.uk/.

Back at the office, I used to teach an occasional line dance lesson to my Symposia Medicus colleagues as part of our Wellness Program. It was good for us to get up from our desks and get moving for a little bit. I always taught a beginner line dance and tried to change up the music as much as possible. As beginner line dances go, you might even recognize a couple—the Wobble and Cupid Shuffle—as they’re often played at wedding receptions or similar celebrations. Today, I’d like to share another beginner line dance with you called K is For Kicks. Check out this tutorial and come dance with me!

Jenna Korver is the Publications Coordinator for Symposia Medicus. She lives in Fremont, California.