WHAT THE COWGIRLS DO ?
“My kind of country is the clear, pure, old-fashioned kind, emotional and gutsy and also sentimental. The songs tell about real human problems – love and the pain of heartbreak and loss – in a way that shows you that the singer is no stranger to pain, and is tough enough to suffer and survive.”
I have always been a cowgirl…even thousand miles far away from real and raw South-western America, I still consider myself as American girl from field, with love for cowboys, hats, outlaw tales and those golden sunsets in the little forgotten towns. I was born as a city girl of Europe but my blood has been always coloured with neon moon of American Wild West. When I was enough young, I tried to write country song lyrics and promised myself I will never give up trying to get to Tennessee and give my talent for country music. No, not as one of many great country music singers, in spite of fact that I would dare to jump in that positive madness and chase my dreams…with guitar, good energy and crazy spirit. Somehow, I believe I was born to practice country line dance, to play guitar, write songs and sleep on the porch, watching peaceful lands , being away from all so called urban and superficial.
Maybe I didn’t mention, I am ready to start learning about country line dance and yes, I am very excited. It is one of my old, big wishes that I couldn’t have fulfilled due to the demanding studies or job but now, it is time. It is now or never and I wont let anything for tomorrow because we are never sure if tomorrow will come….so, grab your passion now and do not hesitate to step in.
What I can tell you about country line dance ? I think I will discover you enough that you would think about joining the movement of excellent cowboy vibes and don’t miss a chance to be happy and hopeful again. First of all, we need to open the book of interesting line dancing history and to be informed about its origins and meaning. This is a choreographed dance with repeated steps and the dancers located in rows or lines. They can face each others or simply being in the same direction but they are not in any physical contact. Each of them has own freedom of moving and dancing, what personally, I find amazing. The whole accent is on group fun that is dancing in synchronized manner but still every individual is creative at his/her own line dance style and energy. Just to mention, the line dance could be performed in many different music styles but it is mostly related to the country music. The original line dance has been created and practiced in country-western bars, social clubs but at the current times, it is shaped into one modern variant that goes well with pop, rock and roll, disco, blues, jazz, Latin and swing.
Back in 1970s, the line dancing was born first in the USA and was an expression of dancing passion for whatever music style has been popular. However, it has shown rise in typical cowboy lands of the USA, together with love for country music. It wasn’t possible to imagine American western bar without line dancing, Alan Jackson and those cool cowboy boots. The country boys and girls coloured line dancing with their free spirit, unchained vibes and passionate lives. That is a rhythm that doesn’t let you staying at one place, it simply makes you moving one step forward, two steps back. It isn’t just music, it is complete feeling of being alive.
Beside this as funny activity and thrilling hobby, line dancing has been proved as one of the best option for keeping good health and prevent any deviation. As many others sports, it increase health potential, condition, the shaping of muscles but it reduces stress and heart diseases risks:“Line dancing is more than simply getting some exercise. While many may start out with the intention of taking a session of classes for a few weeks, many more find themselves becoming addicted to line dancing because they love the music, the confidence that grows from mastering a dance, the friendships that start to form and more. Line Dancing improves stamina, muscle tone and coordination, is a great stress buster and energy booster. Good for posture, strength, mobility in the lower back, and toning calves and thighs. The British Heart Association says it is very beneficial to health and is recommended by doctors, invigorates all the major organs from the brain right down to the toes. Line dancers can cover around five miles of ground in one evening”
It is not just sport or hobby, it is a way of life, connected with many others aspects of our life. It determines our ability to love ourselves, our life and the world around us. The Music has its specific therapeutic effects and it mustn’t be underrated because all global drama we face up with, comes from people that are dissatisfied and miserable. The music can’t solve all other problems but it can help us to clean our spirit, to recharge our soul with positive thoughts and to give us brave eyes for tomorrow.
If you are, like me, excited to give a try to a cowboys and cowgirls way of life, you don’t need to be in Texas. You can awake Texas in your heart and embrace it. The line dance classes are available all over the globe and even if not, you can find them online and many of them are really good conducted and organised. Usually, every dance school is offering the line dance courses and you can check in and join the beginner class. At least, one hour per week of country melody and line dancing will help you to forget the tragedy that is served every day wherever we look at. It will make you an invisible shield against negative waves and keep you strong, fit and optimistic for your own daily challenges. We can’t change the world but we can indeed change our own perspective and, at least, assure that we are not the part of misery worldwide.
As the sun goes down, I am greeting the night with Brooks and Dunns hits, drinking my cowgirl beer, being amazed by those country lyrics about suffering, love and hope, after all. That is the country music, at the end of the day, it is always new beginning that is waiting for all of us.
4 thoughts on “COUNTRY LINE DANCING: MUSIC, FREEDOM AND SOUTHWESTERN SUNSET”
What a rejuvenating article, Sarah !
This has just reminded me of my UCLA years. I remember going to a Halloween celebration in a restaurant with a dance floor. At one point, people started line dancing and, as you said, everyone is free to move without the need for a partner. They were all going in one direction and then they would reverse. It was a pleasure to watch the synchronization despite the fact that these people were unrelated to one another !
Thank you, Sarah, for being always positive and for bringing such zest to your articles and your readers !
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Sarah, If this virus ever allows us to dance again I will have to invite you to one of my high school reunions in Baytown,Texas. We all grew up line dancing to “The Cotten Eyed Joe” you would fit right in. Great article.
Sarah’s interesting and informative article reminded me of the evolutions of Country & Western Music: during the 1700s, European immigrants who settled in The Appalachian Mountains of Virginia brought with them their various and diverse folk music; consisting of Gaelic and English ballads of universal themes (e.g. amorous rapports, feuds and hardships) and traditional instruments (e.g. violin).
One of the most iconic symbols of Appalachian Music, the banjo, was brought to the region by African-American slaves, during the 18th century. Black banjo players were performing in Appalachian regions as early as 1798.
Later, African-American blues brought harmonic and verbal dexterity to Appalachian Music, and many early Appalachian musicians recalled being greatly-influenced by watching black musicians perform.
Also, Country & Western Music became intrinsic to certain protest movements of exploited miners and farmers, during the early-20th century: the song ‘Which Side Are You On?’ (1931) was written by the wife, Mrs Florence Reece, of a union organizer in Kentucky. The mine owners were oppressing the miners and their families and when the miners began to organize into legal unions, etc., the mine owners used illegal and violent tactics to intimidate and threaten the miners and their families.
The local sheriff and his deputies illegally-entered the home and terrorized Mrs Reece and her children: her husband was not at home, then. Later, she wrote down the lyrics of the song.
While Country & Western Music is upbeat and uplifting, it has a melancholic past, as well…