“Can I get a ‘yee-haw?’” That was the question the Walkin’ the Line band’s lead singer asked the crowd at the Midnight Rodeo Bar (MRB) on Saturday, December 5. And quite a crowd it was, including the nine STC New England members who were there for the chapter’s 2015 “Holiday Hoedown” party.
The MRB is a country-western themed bar and dance club located inside the Yard Restaurant in Manchester, NH. Every Saturday night, people from all over New England go to the MRB to learn the latest country dances and to hear live bands. Last Saturday night was no exception, and the STC members joined in for an evening of music and dancing.
Staff from the MRB greeted STC members at the door and directed them to reserved tables decorated with yellow and black balloons in homage to the colors in the STC logo. With the promise of dance lessons and a live band to come, the STC group began the evening by settling at the tables and ordering food and drink.
When the crowd built to a good size, the MRB’s dance instructor invited everyone to the dance floor for lessons. She taught two beginner line dances in the hour-long session. The dancers learned some basic dance elements, such as a vine, a kick-ball-change, and a shuffle, and how to use them in the choreographed pattern of a line dance done to country music. By the end of the lessons, the newly minted country dancers had memorized the patterns and were dancing to the music like they’d done it all their lives. Judging by their laughter and the happy expressions on their faces, the dancers had a lot of fun.
After the dance lessons, the Walkin’ the Line band took the stage for the first of three sets. Walkin’ the Line is a four-piece band and mostly played country dance music. But they occasionally played some up-tempo rock music, which the crowd seemed to like. During the band’s first break, the dance instructor reviewed the dances that she taught earlier, and everyone got a chance to practice. Again, laughter and smiles among the dancers.
The STC members who came to our holiday get-together had a good time. Patty Gale, who came with her husband, said “it was great to get together with my STC colleagues for a social event, and fun to get out on the dance floor and try a little country line dancing! The band was terrific, and it was so inspiring to watch the more experienced dancers do the two-step and other moves. I hope we can do another get-together like this soon.”
And now that they all are bona-fide country dancers, they can surely respond to the band with a hearty “Yee-Haw!”