Line-dancing gets a new life at Bellville church


By Louise Swartzwalder - Galion Inquirer



Photo by Louise Swartzwalder Line dancers from the Bellville area get in some practice Sunday at New Life Church. The classes are only $1 and proceeds benefit the Opera House.

Photo by Louise Swartzwalder Line dancers from the Bellville area get in some practice Sunday at New Life Church. The classes are only $1 and proceeds benefit the Opera House.


CLEAR FORK VALLEY — The lively crew of people at a local church Sunday were making moves most people don’t expect in that kind of setting.

Twenty men and women, with their instructor, were learning – and practicing – line dancing.

Anyone who has a feel for music could appreciate the subtleties and inspiration, behind the instructions of Dee Walter.

She led the group, from a stage in the gym, calling out “Stick with it.”

Her mother, Joy Allison, accompanied Walter. Her mom’s history includes clogging, line dancing and square dancing.

The line-dancing classes have been offered since November.

The first dance practiced Sunday was the tango.

“Everybody remembers this, right?” Walter said.

But she called out the moves, and people complied.

Cross tap. Cross point. Go left. Go right. Step back. Touch. Quarter turn.

People unfamiliar with line dancing moves can look them up on online.

Walter provides printed instructions at all sessions.

The line dancing classes started in the village opera house, but moved first to the elementary school, then to New Life Church.

Mayor Teri Brenkus attends the sessions.

People who want to learn are asked to contribute $1. Walter then donates that donation to the opera house.

Walter had a helper at the sessions. Jan, who was clad in bright purple, stood at the other end of the gym.

Walter told people new line dancing practitioners should get in the center of the gym, so they could observe seasoned dancers.

Walter, wearing a flowing white shirt and black pants, showed learners how to do the moves.

One is the “vine,” which requires moving so that the formation copies the grapevine. A person can step to the side, then put a foot behind, then go to the side, then to the front. The legs and starting point can be alternated.

If you want to be sure about it, having an instructor helps.

The sessions begin at 4 p.m. Music was added to the scene at 4:15. The first song was to help perform the tango. The second song helped people do “as country as country can be” dancing.

“How many people have practiced?” Walter asked.

No one help up hands.

“Are you getting it?” Walter asked.

Several people gave a thumbs up signal.

Walter said line dancing can be done to all kinds of music: waltz, rhumba, mambo, tango, swing music and of course country.

She said every time a new song comes out someone will choreograph a dance to it. Also, people have gone back and choreographed songs to older music.

“There are thousands of dances,” she said.

People can type in a name of a song and add line dance. A person doing that can come up with all kinds of dances.

She said she teaches mostly beginners and intermediates.

“Like any kind of dancing, the sky is the limit,” she said.

She said all dances seem hard at first, but people become accustomed to them and can be comfortable with all kinds of steps.

“My goal in dancing is to have fun for everyone,” she said.

Debbi Broderick and husband Mike stood near the stage at Sunday’s session, listening to Walter. Broderick said she has participated in the sessions, and they have done about eight dances.

Broderick recently appeared before Bellville village council, expressing her interest in vacant council seats.

Broderick said she has done aerobics exercises and jazzercise, so decided she would like the line dancing.

Photo by Louise Swartzwalder Line dancers from the Bellville area get in some practice Sunday at New Life Church. The classes are only $1 and proceeds benefit the Opera House.
https://www.galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2020/01/web1_line-dancing-in-bellville.jpgPhoto by Louise Swartzwalder Line dancers from the Bellville area get in some practice Sunday at New Life Church. The classes are only $1 and proceeds benefit the Opera House.

By Louise Swartzwalder

Galion Inquirer