Got to keep on dancing

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 12, 2002

Christmas is the happiness, most joyous time of the year, so don’t let certain circumstances or people keep you from having a fun-filled and a prosperous one.

Everywhere you go and at any age there seems to be a shortage of men. Medical reports say that a man’s life span is shorter than that of a woman’s; therefore, when a woman reaches middle age she may be more likely to become a widow than vice versa. Why wait until you reach the pearly gates before you can sing, shout and yes, dance. You can still do these things while you are in the land of the living; however, you may have to do them without a male partner.

Christmas is my favorite season because it is one that I can receive my biggest source of exercise with invitations to many parties that include dancing. With a job like mine, it is very hard to fit an exercise program into my schedule. Perhaps that was the reason for my 10-pound weight gain about two months ago. Recently I learned that I have lost all of those pounds plus one. That is because I have been active and doing some dieting every weekend since that report about guess what – line dancing and less sugar intake.

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On Monday afternoon I had a wonderful time while covering a story instead of sitting at my computer for half a work day. Benford Hunter, the president of Local Union No. 26 UAW, asked me to cover their annual Christmas party at the Holiday Inn for retirees of the union. Almost all of these people had been employees at Planters Peanut Company.

Hunter and I love line dancing, and he wanted us to demonstrate some of the dance steps to them. I will tell anybody that in this day when every dance that you go to it seems to be about three or four women to every man, it was a blessing when the Electric Slide was introduced in the summer of 1989. I think that this is a dance that isn’t going to die, is a good source of aerobic exercising, and the answer to the unescorted and wallflowers’ prayers.

I have been to many events when women were moving to the beat in their seats because there was a shortage of men. Lately though the table seems to be turning. I attended an event at the Smithfield Center on Nov. 15 and noticed that no longer are women waiting for a man to lead them on the dance floor. A group of women loved the music so well that they formed a full circle on the floor and just did their thing in a free-style kind of dance.

On Nov. 16 I was at an event at the Tower Auditorium, and the DJ playing the music was none other than the line dance king himself, Joe Foreman. He has a supply of music to at least five different ones and when five women saw my friend and me doing them, they asked Gail and me to move to another section of the floor where we wouldn’t be in anyone’s way in order that we could teach them the steps.

As a DJ, Hunter admits that at most dances where he plays, line dance music is quite popular; however, those oldies but goodies when you can do the cha-cha, swing and the shag dances are also still very popular.

During the Christmas season about three years ago, Hunter, Cliff Edwards, my son Mark Wall, and Bud Hyman, a dance instructor from Washington, D.C., held classes at the Union Hall and got a pretty good response. Nevertheless, after the Christmas season was over, people began to lose interest in the sessions.

&uot;Once you start the sessions, you have got to continue to stick with them and you will soon catch on. This activity provides good, clean, and wholesome entertainment. In addition line dancing will help you to overcome your shyness on the dance floor,&uot; said Hunter.

Lately, the aforementioned dance instructors and I have been conversing about opening another session of classes.

&uot;Maybe we will do it close to Valentines Day because that is also a good time of the year,&uot; said Hunter.

No matter what you say, some women who love socializing and dancing will still refuse to go unescorted and are not getting out at Christmas or any other time because of this fact. It is their choice. But as Dr. Phil, the relationship therapist, always does when people who choose to live in a bad situation continue to do so asks them, &uot;How is it working for you?&uot; But I say, if it’s not, maybe you should make a change.

His most meaningful statement made on Monday was &uot;This life is no dress rehearsal folks. You only get one time through this world and I’ll be damn if I’m gong to spend it miserably.&uot;

I agree with Dr. Phil 100 percent, and since I have been widowed five years I’m going to add,

&uot;I’ll be d- if I’m going to spend it miserably not having fun or attending events when I can, with or without an escort.&uot;

Evelyn Wall is a staff writer and a regular columnist for the News-Herald.