HIBBING – Winter is coming and we tend to veg. Wanna keep fit? Like music? Like fun? Like to laugh? Like to make new friends? If your answer is yes to all, I’ve got the ticket for you—country line dancing.
I started teaching line dancing 20 years ago. Like Sesame Street, I go over and over the steps until everyone learns—that is, “almost” everyone learns.
In 2002, a group of us started a Dance Team—ages from 25 – 75. One gal suggested “Otta Line Dancers” as a name for the team because we were all from Da Range. So, that’s our name and we dress in hot pink when we perform.
We dance a number of free “gigs” for nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Hibbing, Chisholm and Nashwauk. At holidays, we pool our money and bring little treats. They don’t care what it is¬—they just want something to hold. I’m glad for our Dollar stores.
We recently danced for a gentleman at his 100th birthday. “Here come my girls,” he said. How could he miss us in our hot pink shirts?
We always go early to help get the people from their rooms. Then we stay to help get them back to their rooms.
After we dance about 10 dances, I give the girls a break. I put “Old Time Rock and Roll” on, and I lead the residents in a series of exercises— arms, legs, head and a butt dance. They love it! Then the workers say, “Now we have to settle them down for bed.” I respond, “Yes, but look at the smiles.”
It’s funny how people remember us. One gal asked, “Where are your short skirts?” I respond, “We wore those skirts 20 years ago. Our legs aren’t pretty anymore.” She laughed and said, “Mine either.” Sweet!
Our last dance is always to the song, “Could I Have This Dance.” There are tears. We hear from many people who say this song is their husband’s or their wife’s favorite. I say, “Mine too.” As the sweat is running down our backs, they say, “Don’t stop dancing.”
You don’t have to join a team to enjoy line dancing. But it helps to bring water and wear cool clothing when you dance.
If you can count to four, you can dance. Starting at square one, vine to the left, vine to the right. Fall classes, including a beginner class, are underway at the Hibbing Memorial Building.
Stay tuned for the winter class schedule at the Hibbing Memorial Building. For more information, visit www.hibbing.mn.us/residents/ recreation-city-services/adult-classes-activities or call Hibbing Parks and Recreation at 218- 362-5940.
Shirley Szweduik lives in Hibbing, MN.