URBANA – “I got tired of looking at the four walls after my husband passed away.”
Woodstock resident Linda Corbett is one among many line dancing aficionados strutting their stuff every week at Life-Net Christian Fellowship Church in Urbana.
Urbana resident Jack Ferryman has been teaching line dancing for years, and he’s brought that instruction to the church. He also started a group, “Just for Fun Line Dancers,” which performs at festivals, community events and even the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville.
Ferryman, a retired International Harvester worker, got interested in line dancing 20 years ago and began teaching it to others 14 years ago. He’s taught at the church, the YMCA, and Greenhills Community in West Liberty.
“I just enjoy dancing,” he said of why he started. “All the people in the group enjoy dancing. I’ve danced all my life.”
The dances are set to country, rock and Latin beat music. Ferryman said he likes to mix it up, putting country dances to both country and rock songs, and vice versa.
“It’s about bringing country and rock people together,” he said.
Ferryman also enjoys the thrill of teaching.
“What I enjoy about teaching is taking somebody who says they have no rhythm or they have two left feet and in a few short lessons they dance with confidence,” he said.
Dancers find they love the exercise, the friendships that develop and the ability to go there alone or with a partner.
“You don’t need a man to line dance,” Corbett said. “It’s fun, it’s exercise and it makes people happy.”
Susie Alexander of West Liberty has been dancing for 20 years. She said she didn’t know a thing about it until a friend encouraged her to try, and now she’s hooked. She even convinced her husband, Lee, to come out and try it a couple of years ago.
“She asked me to come a couple of times, and I came and watched,” he said. “It’s great seeing the smiles on people’s faces. You get to see a lot of smiles.”
Staci Salyers and her daughter, Jess, have been coming for more than a year. Salyers got interested after hearing her mother, Kay Sine, talk about it. Then she brought her daughter, who was into cheerleading and gymnastics.
“I like it. It’s so welcoming,” Staci Salyers said. “They don’t care when we train-wreck.”
Mechanicsburg resident Joann Sparks got involved about 10 years ago. She had been line dancing with a group in Marietta and found Ferryman’s group when she moved to Champaign County.
“It makes me happy,” she said. “You can just lose yourself in the dance.”
The instruction is free, though donations are accepted, and interested individuals can just show up, Ferryman said. Sometimes the room is packed with over 50 individuals, including the 24 or so in the Just for Fun Line Dancers group.
The class is 7-8:30 p.m. every Thursday at the church on Dellinger Road. Donations go to restocking the food pantry at the church. Those interested can just show up; they do not need to call in advance.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.