I first came across country music when I was lead singer in a band during the 70’s and 80’s. We were a covers band and gradually progressed into playing music by artists such as The Eagles and Don Williams. I enjoyed playing the music so much that I began investigating more and then found new country artists such as Alan Jackson, Brooks and Dunn and George Strait who really excited my musical taste buds. The explosion came with Garth Brooks, Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney and I was totally hooked.
My links with line dancing came by chance as I suffer from an arthritic condition called ankylosing spondilitis and I was looking for something I could do for exercise as my previous sports rugby, basketball and squash were out of the question. I decided to try a class to see if it helped my movement. Not only did it help but linked in with my love of new country and I was totally hooked on both. That was more than 27 years ago and it has been dancing all the way since then. I had a setback a few years ago with a major spinal problem, but this was alleviated a little by major surgery on my neck and now, although with limitations, I am back to dancing.
I currently have three classes where I teach and the vast majority of dances I do are to country music. Again I got into teaching by accident when a friend who was a teacher was ill and asked me to help out. People then liked what I did and asked me to take over another class where their teacher had retired. I used my experience as a school teacher to make learning fun and the formula seemed to work really well and classes quickly grew to where they are today with great fun nights dancing to the very best country music (and some of the other top dances).
I have also written for Up Country magazine and have had the privilege of interviewing superstars such as Tim McGraw, Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, and Darius Rucker face to face and many US stars by phone.
I try to get around the country scene as much as possible to check out what is the reality on the dance floor, rather than rely on selective charts. For this reason the UKCountryRadio.com line dance chart reflects a more general view of what is happening with new and existing dances.
The Line Dance Show can be heard on the first and third Fridays of each month at 8pm, repeated at 5pm on Saturdays. The first Friday show concentrates on current hit dances and new releases. Also featured is a countdown of the top 10 dances, of which we play the top 5. To complement there is the show on the third Friday which has special features focusing on things such as choreographers, artists or particular themes.