Lining up the dance floor

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Friends and family members say that they have a harder time keeping up with me since I have retired. To this I say, &uot;Thank God that at 61, I am still well and able enough to do the things that I do which include conducting dance workshops.&uot;

On Monday, one of my best friends, Gail Hinton-Copeland, and I conducted a Sliding and Gliding Workshop from 10 a.m.-noon at the Marriott Waterside Hotel in Norfolk.

Gail and I each received a letter from Ann D. Black, First Supreme Anti-Basileus July 2, requesting that we do this workshop during the 82nd Anniversary Conclave of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc.

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The conclave, with the theme &uot;Reaching and Teaching All Children for Success in the 21st Century,&uot; began July 18 and will conclude July 22. Host chapters were the Delta Gamma Sorority of

Portsmouth and the Alpha Chi Sorority of Chesapeake.

Black learned about our experiences with these dances through Evelyn West, a spokeswoman for and member of the Chesapeake Chapter of the Alpha Chi Sorority and a member and past president of the Portsmouth Chapter of Les Gemmes Inc. She is now the national chaplain of that organization. Gail and I are members of the Suffolk Chapter. During our past Les Gemmes conclave dances, West was always impressed with the way that Gail and I could find line dance steps to the music that held a similar beat to different songs. This is what prompted her to ask Black to request our services conducting the Slide and Glide Workshop, emphasizing a low impact aerobics and dance.

About 800 members were expected to attend the conclave. However, since it was only in its first day, about 55 members attended our workshop. Line dances that we demonstrated were the Platinum Dream, two versions of the Electric Slide, Cha Cha Slide, The Bus Stop, Mississippi Slide, Step Slide, fancy steps to Janet Jackson’s song, &uot;Together Again,&uot; and our latest entry, Boot Scootin’ Boogie.

Among those attending were a variety of women from many different states. Joycelyn Hentley from Atlanta, Ga.; Opal Hampton from Pasadena, Calif.; Mattie Coates from Washington, D.C.;

Louise Moore and Eunice Mavis from Brooklyn, N.C.; and Sharon L. Welch from Suffolk remained longer for extra instruction.

About a year ago Gail, who is also a music instructor at JFK Middle School, conducted line dance lessons sponsored by the Suffolk Parks and Recreation Departmen. at Booker T. Elementary School and I have demonstrated them at senior citizen activities. Therefore, we decided to bring our acts together. Before we concluded the workshop Monday, we had a request to conduct one for another sorority sometime in August.

The Delta Gamma and Alpha Chi sororities will be throwing their biggest bash, a formal dance, at the Marriott tonight and the main purpose of these dances is to get rid of the wallflower by getting everyone involved in dancing because it seems that at every dance women outnumber men three to one and especially at sorority conclaves since husbands and partners remain at home most of the time. Therefore, I advise every DJ that

has a problem getting anyone to dance when in charge of playing music to play line dance music to break the ice.

Gail and I thank Sharon L. Welch on behalf of the sorority for presenting us each with a Certificate of Appreciation and a gift after the workshop. We love conducting these workshops and doing these dances because we are in a race to break the record of Dick Clark so that we too can be named as being the world’s oldest teenagers.

Evelyn Wall is a retired News-Herald reporter and regular columnist.