It’s Thursday night, and the Cadillac Ranch in Southington is busy. Waitresses bring drinks to tables, karaoke songs drift from the bar and people play pool. Occasionally, someone takes a turn on the mechanical bull. But the real action is over on the huge dance floor where, against a backdrop of neon beer signs, about 30 people dance to country songs.
They move as one, following an intricate pattern of steps, shuffles, quarter-turns and stomps. Attire is mostly casual, especially for those on the dance floor, but 10-gallon hats, cowboy boots and rhinestone-studded denim are always in style.
When most people think of country line dancing, they remember its heyday in the early 1990s, when the “Tush Push” and the “Achy-Breaky” were part of the nightly routine in dance clubs all over the United States.
But those who thought country line dancing was just a fad that was over years ago might be surprised to find its popularity never waned, at least not in this part of Connecticut. In fact, if you know where to go, you can find a number of establishments that offer the music and the lessons needed for this unique dance form.
Line dancing steps are similar to those used in tap dancing. There is the brush, shuffle, ball change and tapping the floor with the toe and heel. Those who have done tap dancing, step dancing, folk dancing or any dance that requires coordinated fancy footwork can probably pick up line dancing easily.
There is little room for interpretation. Since dancers are lined up in rows, everyone needs to move together, like soldiers marching in formation or a chorus line. Some creative types find it too restrictive, but mechanically inclined folks seem to enjoy it. Many technical engineers can be found line dancing. There is little, if any, conversation on the dance floor. The experienced dancers watch the beginners and try to demonstrate the dances the best they can, but the movements change quickly and focus is important.
Alex J. Sperduti had absolutely no…
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