Some say line dancing went the way of leg warmers and “Saved By the Bell” lunch boxes, but local resident Georgene Hepner claims the country-western fad never went anywhere. In fact, the deranged woman reports, it was no fad at all.
“It’s a way of life for a lot of us,” says Hepner from the one-bedroom apartment that also houses her Beanie Baby and plastic troll collections. “I still go down to Wild Joe’s every Thursday night for the country-western dancing. It’s mostly women with a few guys. They have a great big dance floor, the instructor wears real fancy neon western shirts, they play all my favorite music… it’s great. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
To keep her moves fresh between Thursdays, Hepner pops her favorite country-western mix cassette into her Walkman and dances around her tiny kitchen. The mix cassette, pieced together from radio broadcasts, includes classics like “Achy Breaky Heart,” “The Shake,” “Watermelon Crawl,” and “Queen of Memphis” – songs Hepner calls “among the best country-western songs ever recorded.”
She doesn’t expect everyone to understand. “I tried taking a couple of my friends from work to Joe’s once and they were treating it like it was a big joke, not following the moves or anything. I was so embarrassed for my line dancing friends to see how disrespectful they were being. I haven’t taken anyone else since.”
Hepner advises that those interested in trying country-western line dancing for themselves should be sure to pack a headband and water bottle in their fanny pack and leave the leg warmers at home. “When they get to cranking the ‘Boot Scootin Boogie’ or ‘Hard Workin Man,’ it can get real hot real fast,” she says.
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