Folk Dance

Line Dancing

SP is a current student at California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo where she studies Geography and Anthropology. She is originally from Seattle, WA and grew up in a small town nearby. She grew up in a typical American middle-class family. She attended a public high school in Washington where she grew up with a sister and her mother and father. She has a background of being half-Mexican and half Irish/Italian that has in some ways heavily influenced her beliefs as well as her religious beliefs rooted in Catholicism.

Are there any traditions that are new you have come across that you just started to partake in, possibly at college?

SP: Well at Cal Poly I have recently started to go to line dancing with my friends. It is on Thursday nights in a small bar with an open dance floor. Around 100-200 people will go a night and it gets really hot and crowded but it is one of the most fun things I have done here. It is something you can go to with your friends even if you are a bad dancer.

What is it like? I have never been line-dancing and don’t know what the experience is like.

SP: Well line-dancing is a lot of steps and remembering the pattern. They always play the same songs and each song has a dance. Most of the regulars know all the dances from going so often so if you watch them for a while sometimes you will eventually be able to do it and try it. I am not very good so I can only pick up the slower or easier dances and even then, sometimes I mess up. They aren’t that serious so if you mess up you just laugh it off and keep going but some people are so good and never mess up. I am guessing those people have time to go every week and that’s how they can memorize it and get so good.

Why is this so popular or a tradition at Cal Poly?

SP: I think it is because a lot of people at Cal Poly like country music and dancing and drinking and at Line-Dancing you can do all of those at the same time with you friends. When I go, I like to go with a group of my friends that I can dance with and have fun with but still make a fool of myself. That’s why so many people at Cal Poly go, because it is fun and easy to go with a bunch of your friends.

Analysis:

Line-dancing is popular across the united states but it has died out in places that are not in the south for the most part. IT is making a revival and the small town of San Luis Obispo through college kids because college kids love dancing and most love music that is popular like country. The act of line-dancing is portrayed in many movies and television as people having a ton of fun in pre-choreographed dance that they just happen to be able to learn easily during the night. It doesn’t require as much precision or skill as other kinds of dance which makes it friendly to all people especially young people. It is interesting to see it growing in California, which is not known as a typical southern state.

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