Back in the Day
A group of about 10 of us would dance and dance and dance.. all night long…. to the bar… even to the toilet (though we stopped dancing once inside) and then danced back to the dance floor again. It was here, in 1968 (I have a very strong feeling it was in the Autumn/Fall) that the Choreography competition that created the dance ’30 Something’ took place. Who penned the most of the dance I cannot remember, but Linda and I were a team and as a team both names are credited. Whilst most dancers and dances in America copied the one wall routines of the Groups of that day… such as The Temptations and Four Tops, and were afforded stage shows/reviews and exposure on television, we in the UK very rarely had the privilege of seeing such events.
I first came across line dancing (as its known today) whilst being the main floor DJ (there were three floors) at a nightclub called ‘The Manor’ in Rochdale, England in 1983. The dance I saw being done was very very similar (if not the same) as a dance I was to learn nearly 10 years later in Australia – Black Velvet. Because of my job frequent journeys were made back home to Australia and it was there that I first learnt Line dancing.
My teacher and later very dear friend, Wannaura Flemming being a former Ballroom Champion kept a very strict eye on my ‘progress’. Wannaura was my spiritual mentor and a person whom I will never allow myself to forget. Today, some 40 years on from that very first dance I still enjoy creating new dances. Dances and the music that are a part of me. Though my actual (social) dancing has been somewhat curtailed with (according to the Surgeons) severe injuries to both knees and left ankle (that wasn’t helped by the constant practice of throwing my self out of a perfectly sound aircraft for charity) I still dance enough to allow myself the pleasure of feeling the music. I still enjoy every single minute with every single step to every single beat of music.
Strange to some is the knowledge that although I am qualified Teacher of dance I have only ever once taught one of my Line dances to a class – and no doubt made a mess of it (but I did enjoy doing it). I’m not even a dance club owner – I’m just a Choreographer.. which today is something of a rarity. My dances, if they are performed are performed on merit alone. That’s the main reason I get a warm feeling when I do see or hear of one of my dances being performed. And I can truly appreciate the joy that other Choreographers feel when they see their dances are being done for the very same reason.
Always remember- ‘The beat may reach your feet – but the rhythm should electrify your soul’ Stay bright – Stay happy Hold on to your dreams Mike Taylor .. and the other fellah
©February 23,2008 LineDanceFun.com