I heard about the classes through our local free paper and went along out of interest. It is a lot harder than it looks, as you have to remember lots of different steps. I'm better if I get in the middle and watch people in front of me, but I get into trouble when we turn around and suddenly I haven't got anyone to watch.
There is also line dancing on Fridays at Arana Leagues club. We danced to Jared singing with his guitar recently. Maggie has been doing line dancing for about two years. She said she got into it when her mother and aunt were visiting Brisbane from Ireland. She was looking for something to do with them and saw an article about line dancing. She knew they liked dancing so took them along to Arana Leagues Club to watch. They enjoyed it a lot and visited every Wednesday during their Australian visit. After they left Maggie joined the class at Gaythorne Bowls Club with Lyn. Arana Leagues Club.
The average age of women who go to our class is about 55years to 80 years, although Joan bought her twenty-something-year-old granddaughter a few weeks ago. Melinda loved the class and picked up the steps easily. That was probably because she teaches dance classes. Eighty-three old June has been line dancing for 28 years since 1988.
Line dancing first started in the USA, sometime in the late 1970s to early 1980s.
A line dance is a choreographed dance with a repeated sequence of steps in which a group of people dance in one or more lines or rows, all facing either each other or in the same direction, and executing the steps at the same time.
Each dance consists of a number of walls. A wall is the direction in which the dancers' face at any given time: the front (the direction faced at the beginning of the dance), the back or one of the sides. Dancers may change direction many times during a sequence, and may even, at any given point, be facing in a direction half-way between two walls; but at the end of the sequence they will be facing the original wall or any of the other three.
My son was 5 years old in 1992 when Billy Ray Cyrus' 1992 hit "Achy Breaky Heart" was released. He loved that song and I remember driving all the way from Port Fairy in Victoria to Brisbane listening to Achy Breaky Heart on repeat. That song helped line dancing become mainstream.
The Macarena was a hit based on a line dance in the mid-1990s.
On a recent Friday, I met a 94-year-old woman Joyce who loves to go to the Arana Leagues club and listen to the music and watch the dancers. She told me she used to dance four days a week when she was younger. She gets picked up from her home in the courtesy bus and has lunch at the club every week.
Line dancing is a great social outing and a great way for older people to keep active. It is especially good for memory and concentration, as you have to memorise lots of different steps.
Research has shown that dancing is the best exercise to prevent dementia. Researchers looked at effects of 11 different types of physical activity, including cycling, golf, swimming, and tennis, but found only one of the activities studied—dance—lowered participants' risk of dementia. Dancing involves a mental effort, physical activity and social interaction, which contribute to this outcome.
In a 2008 article in Scientific American magazine, a Columbia University neuroscientist stated that synchronizing music and movement—dance, essentially—constitutes a "pleasure double play." Music stimulates the brain's reward centers, while dance activates its sensory and motor circuits.