Line dancing classes continue

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The East Suffolk Sophisticated Steppers line dance group based at the East Suffolk Recreation Center recently started a new session and is looking for members.

This group was formed in September 2010 when Curtis Kindred, former activities director, contacted Evelyn Wall about starting another adult activity at the center.

“The class started off with only four members for about two weeks and has grown at one time to over 35 to 40 members,” Wall stated in a press release. “Currently, the class has a membership of 24 people.”

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The group is associated with a team of urban line dance groups throughout Hampton Roads and northern North Carolina named the “757 Crew.” The aim of the 757 Crew is to unite line dancing groups and bring attention to the many social and health benefits of line dancing.

Many dances taught in the class are choreographed by local line dancers and can be found in the 757 Crew’s group Facebook page, 757 Crew’s YouTube playlists and on the Tidewater Line Dance YouTube channel.

Line dancing involves participants doing sequences of steps, often in the same direction, at the same time. The dancing involves no physical contact with other dancers. Therefore, no partner is required. Urban line dancing has been around for decades, but the distinct nature of many current soul line dances, including the choreography for the popularly known “Wobble,” can be traced back to Dave Bush Jr. of Philadelphia, known as the “Godfather of Line Dancing.”

Today, line dancing can be done on many levels from the most basic, such as “Cupid Shuffle,” to the most intricate, as in “Terminal Reaction.” Wall’s class welcomes people with little experience in line dancing who wish to extend their dancing knowledge and skills.

Afterwards, participants can become a part of a greater line dance community with an extensive knowledge of dances beyond that of the “Electric Slide.”

Wall conducts the class along with three assistants: C.L. White, Ercella Pittman and Mark Wall. The group has had many performances since its beginning. ESSS has participated in after-school performances and community programs in Suffolk and has performed at summertime TGIF concerts and the annual Taste of Suffolk event.

Members have also participated in the 757 Crew “Back-to-School Jump-off” school supply giveaway, which served more than 300 students.

Classes are held at the center, 138 S. Sixth St. from 6 to 7 p.m. Mondays and from 11 a.m. to noon Thursdays. The class cost is $20 for a six-week period.

For more information, contact the center by calling 514-4500.