I was raised in Hermosa Beach, California by my theatrical parents. Both my parents were respected Pasadena Playhouse Alumni; and in addition, my father was an actor/director/film editor and my mother was an actress cum model cum director. Growing up with greasepaint and stagelights, it's no wonder I chose theatre arts as my major and dance as my minor in college. I was trained at the Film Industry Workshops, utilising CBS Studios, and was privileged to be trained by many respected actor director's including Jerry Lewis, Mark Sandborn (Mary Tyler Moore Show, etc) and Chuck Heston to name a few. Because the Workshops were in the valley, I used to go early after college classes and hang out on the "Gunsmoke" set with my friend Jim Arness, until it was time for my workshop. I watched and listened intently, learning much from these wonderful actors/directors and crew members. This is probably when I developed a love of westerns.
The 70's were pretty much of a blur (as for a lot of us), but I do remember doing a LOT of disco dancing and working in the secretarial field at variety of companies. This was my work hard - play hard period.
In the 80's, still recovering from the 70's, I settled down and began my employment with The Aerospace Corporation. I married, as usual someone who couldn't dance, and therefore, put my dancing on hold to lavish in motherhood with my new son.
Unfortunately in the early 90's, I became another California statistic as a divorcee. During this time, my mother passed away from leukaemia and with nothing to do at that time, a friend took to me to my first country western class taught by Denny Hengen. It was totally different from my previous training in modern dance and jazz, so I felt very clumsy. However, it was a lot of fun and in a few weeks caught on quite well. I became a regular dance fanatic dancing 5-6 days a week. I have never done any thing in moderation in my life. I go for the gusto!
I became a member of The Wild, Wild West Dancers dance team which had the privilege to perform one of my exhibition routines for TNN's Wild Horse Saloon Line Dance Contest, in September of 1996. I devote a lot of time rehearsing, teaching or choreographing for the dance team. I jumped even further into choreography and to date have choreographed 20 dances and 2 dance routines. (Remember, I said I don't do anything in moderation!) All of my dances have been published in the leading country dance magazines, both in the US and internationally. One of my dances Country Walkin' has been featured on one of Jo Thompson's DanceLink videos, and another South Side of Dixie was featured in the dance booklet that accompanied MCA's "Toe The Line 2" CD. I have been participating in the dance community as a dance instructor for the last four years. At one "Chilli Cook Off" that I was instructing at, I had two full rows of "little buckaroos", none of them older than age 6. It was so rewarding to see their little faces light up when they learned the "Bartender's Stomp" or "The Western Express". Even my 93 year old student had a "mean" Tush Push. That's what it's all about - having FUN! And that's what I try to incorporate into my lessons. A common motto among many instructors is that there are no mistakes when it come to line dancing - only step variations!
In March of '96, I became a Dance Editor for Step By Step Magazine and have enjoyed inputting a lot of your dances submitted to the magazine. I have learned a lot from my publisher and mentor, Denny Hengen and while I in no way claim to be an "expert" in the art of Country Western dancing, I do consider myself an ambassador for promoting having fun with Country Western dancing. When not dancing, this busy redheads' free time is totally occupied by her son, Michael, who is now just starting to dance! (Yeah! Finally, a man in my life who can dance!)
For a full list of Teree's dances see Section 1-1
or go direct to Teree's Tribute Page http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/jgothard/teree.htm
Evelyn Khinoo was born an athlete and played sports all her life. She grew up in the San Joaquin Valley in Modesto, California. Throughout her school years, including college, she participated in all women sports (not many offered in those days), as well as participated in spectator sports as a yell leader while attending college. She continued playing sports as an adult, and retired about 3 years ago from softball after reaching her 25th consecutive year playing in women's, men's and co-ed softball leagues. She has been an aerobics instructor as well. Oh, yes, and her favorite sport other than dancing is water skiing. She owns a water ski boat and is an avid slalom water skiier. Prior to country-western dancing, she and her partner and significant other, Bruce Bowman, took ballroom dancing for about 3 years. Then Evelyn got a little bored and guess what--found out about country-western dancing. It became obvious in about one day that this was the perfect activity--and it was a great activity to continue using athletic ability! She finds it a lot of fun, very challenging (she always says, I can do that, no problem, when trying a styling technique), and has the most fun when teaching others how to do it. She has one of those day jobs that distracts from country-western dancing. Evelyn is Manager of Human Resources at a chemical/biotechnology company in Mountain View, California, where she puts in about 10 hours or more every day.
She has been country-western line and couples dancing for 5-1/2 years and teaching for 3-1/2. Evelyn is an instructor, judge, and D.J. (along with Bruce) at regularly scheduled dances held twice a month in Palo Alto, California. She and Bruce have a well-known, fun country-western company called "Country Attitude Productions." They travel to various country-western events to either judge, enter in new choreography competition, teach workshops, or just participate in all the fun activities. Also, regularly scheduled classes are taught in Palo Alto, California on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Evelyn has choreographed 5 dances in the last year, 2 of which have won awards and one other (Silk & Satin) that has been recently used as a competition line dance at the Golden Gate Classic held in Newark, California. She always has "too much fun" whenever she teaches and dances, always encourages others to dance and always tells them "you can do that." She is available at any time to help other instructors, students, D.J.s, judges, event directors and just about anyone else who is interested in country-western dancing and who needs help. Country Attitude Productions is available for parties, D.Jaying, instruction, judging, and almost any other country-western activity you can think of. Evelyn (and Bruce) show up at all the local dances, and dance at least 5 times a week. She says that the best part of country-western dancing is the unlimited number of great new friends you can meet, and keep. Her best quote is, "there are never enough new dances to learn."
You can reach Evelyn at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Country Attitude Productions,
1008 Almanor Avenue,
Menlo Park, California USA.
Tel: (415) 325-6913
For a full list of Evelyn's dances see Section 1-1
Knox Rhine a.k.a. The Neon Cowboy, Mr. Nitro, Pure Energy, and others as well! Knox has been a active member of the Country-Western family for 20 years. He has competed in couples as well as line dancing. You will always find him dancing and/or teaching no matter where he goes. Knox has judged line dancing, couples and teams during his time in the sport. He has judged for CWLDA, CWDI, and UCWDC. Teaching is his first love, be it line or couples you will always find him entertaining, informed, and prepared. Both he and his wife, Bette, travel extensively in pursuit of new friends and places to teach! His time, on weekends, belongs to others. Knox and Bette average 35 events per year, mostly in the western USA and Canada. He will travel wherever he is wanted. You can bet he is booked way in advance of many events, sometimes as much as 1 1/2 years in advance! If you want him at your event don't wait till the last minute.
The choreography from this energetic source is sought out by many individuals for use in their class as well as in competitions. Outlaw and Advanced is where he likes to write! "Beginner dances are too hard to write!" he says. He always gives the dancers more credit for their abilities and keeps playing with the new stuff till it's where he thinks beginners should be and viola! The rest of the line dance community says "Look, another advanced dance from Knox!" He is an entertainer above all, whether he is teaching, competing, or just dancing. You'll know he is around; just look for the guy bouncing off the walls. You will find this 49-year old grandfather of 7 always enjoying himself. Despite all you have heard, "Elvis" is not dead. He shows up every now and then to entertain you with his line dancing antics. Given the choice, Knox would rather dance than eat, teach than dance, help experienced and newer dancers whenever he can rather than sleep! He is very free with his time and talent. If you want an opinion, he will have one. If you want help, he will find the time for you. If you need something, he will go out of his way to try and find it for you. All and all, you will not find a more helpful nor knowledgeable person than Knox. He is dedicated to helping the dance community in every way he can. If he comes away with new friends, his day is perfect.
So what does he do for real? Knox is retired from the U.S. Coast Guard. He flew as a search and rescue crew member before accepting a commission and retiring as a Lieutenant. He currently works full-time for The Boeing Company in Everett, WA.. He is the avionics delivery technician for the 767 aircraft. When Knox is done with the airplane, it leaves the company for commercial service. He also spent several years as the avionics field service representative for Air Force One in Wichita, KS and Washington DC.
You can reach Knox at:
1002 51st Pl SW
Everett, WA, USA
For a full list of Knox's dances see Section 1-1
Schooled in ballet, tap, toe and jazz, Kathy has extended her enjoyment of dancing to country. For more than six years, Kathy has worked hard to become one of the most sought-after dance instructors in the Northeast. She teaches eight weekly classes and volunteers her Tuesdays teaching 50 seniors the finer art of country line dancing. Despite this busy schedule, Kathy still finds time to do choreography. Her dances, the Frontier Cha-Cha and the First Step Two Step Mixer (co-choreographed by her partner, Patrick Etri) won first and third places, respectively, in a national competition in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and have been published in "Step By Step" and "Country Dance Lines" magazines. The Frontier Cha-Cha has also appeared in "Country Weekly" and was featured on Jo Thompson's DanceLink series, volume 4.
Kathy has guest instructed around the country and has just returned from an eight-week tour with the USO/Department of Defense, to Korea, Okinawa, Guam and the Marshall Islands, to teach country dancing and entertain our military troops overseas. She has taught at various country dance weekends and events and is often engaged by various radio and cable TV stations as a consultant and to provide demonstrations and instructional lessons for a number of fundraising events.
Kathy is founder and director of two country dance teams to promote country dancing and assist non-profit organizations with their fundraising events. The dance team, "THE HONKY TONK STOMPERS", formed in 1993, has managed more than 150 performances in various venues including half-time shows at West Point football and basketball games in front of 40,000 fans, popular Catskill resorts, and various theatres, fairs, and fundraising events. In February of 1995, Kathy formed the "SILVERADO STEPPERS" a senior country line dance team, which now has twenty members. Neither of these teams receive compensation for their involvement and all proceeds from performances are used for costumes, equipment and donations to worthy charities.
Kathy is an accountant by trade, specializing in tax accounting for more than twenty years, a US Army veteran, a former probation/parole officer, and was Managing Director for a national non-profit touring theatrical company.
You can reach Kathy at:
Kathy D. Sharpe
Tel: (914) 733 5644
For a full list of Kathy's dances See Section 1-1A
Denny Hengen was born on June 10, 1943 in Honolulu, Hawaii, the son of an Army doctor and a civilian nurse. His family, which now included a younger brother, moved to Missouri when Denny was about five, where two sister were subsequently added to the Hengen household. Doctor Hengen set up a family practice in the St. Louis suburbs in a town that at that time was called Pattonville, but was later incorporated into Bridgeton.
His musical career began in High School. Denny was awestruck by a group of kids his own age who had formed a band called The Mistakes. When asked if he played an instrument, he told them that he played the saxophone. "Saying that I played the saxophone may have been a slight exaggeration," he relates. "I owned a second hand sax, and was actually able to play three notes when the planets were all perfectly aligned. I joined the high school band (my God... a band fag!) but was not allowed to actually make any noise with the instrument. I was instructed by the band director to just puff out my cheeks and look like I was playing." He was invited to join The Mistakes, but when it became apparent just how miserable a horn player he was, they made him the band's vocalist.
The band actually developed such a following in St. Louis, that they became the "house band" for the #1 Deejay , KXOK's King Richard. Denny and the band eventually backed some of the legends of Rock n Roll: Chuck Berry, Paul Anka, Bobby Vee, Tony Orlando and Brenda Lee. The leader of the band was an exceptional guitarist by the name of Jim Hendal, who idolized the style of St. Louis band leader, Ike Turner. Hendal insisted that Denny learn every Ike Turner song. One night, Hendal was invited to jam with Ike Turner and the Kings Of Rhythm, and Jim asked if Denny might sing a song with the band. Ike was highly amused to hear a white teenager who knew all the words to even the most obscure Ike Turner song. At 16 years of age, Denny was invited to sing with the band, but first his parents had to be convinced. "Let me explain something about Ike Turner. He was one of the nicest people I had ever met, and the band had the strictest rules regarding conduct. Any musician even suspected of smoking marijuana was instantly canned. I can honestly say that in the three years that I was with Ike, I never saw even a trace of the drugs that would eventually destroy his career". Denny arranged to have Ike invited for Sunday dinner at the Hengen household, where he completely won over the elder Hengens with his wit and charm. "My Dad had an old Hammond Chord Organ in his study, and after dinner Ike sat at the organ singing and playing old southern spirituals for hours. By the time that Ike finally left, it was agreed that I would be allowed to play with Ike on the weekends during the school year and then tour in the summer. To this day I firmly believe that I was kept as a member of the band because I was a novelty, and also for the fact that even in the declining years of the fifties, there were a lot of rural eating places that did not welcome black customers. I would be sent in to buy sandwiches that we would eat in the parking lot."
In 1958, a twenty year old native of Brownsville, TN named Anna May Bullock joined The Review as an Ikette. By 1960 she changed her name to Tina Turner, and the Ike and Tina Turner Review was no longer in need of a teen age white singer. Denny continued to travel with the band as an opening act for a year or two under the unfortunate name of Troy Valentine. "My manager was determined to turn yours truly and another teen singer named Little Mojo into the next Frankie Avalon and Fabian. Thankfully that association was terminated when my parents insisted that I go to college".
It was in college that Denny moved into the folk field. "I had been fooling around with the guitar for years, and anyone who knew three chords could get into a folk group. I eventually hooked up with two guys and two girls to form The Northerners". The Northerners were surprisingly good enough to win several contests which eventually led to hosting their own television show. "The studio was a huge converted barn that had apparently housed huge combines. There were such huge cracks under the doors that snow would blow across the sound stage when the wind was bad enough. The camera would only shoot the girls from the waist up because they would be wearing sweatpants under their dresses." For the next five years Denny took enough college classes to avoid the draft, and had the opportunity to share the stage with Folk greats like The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul & Mary and The New Christy Minstrels.
In 1966, Denny was drafted and eventually sent to Viet NAM, where the first four months weren't too different from performing in the states. Because of his college psychology background, he had been assigned to a M*A*S*H unit as a Psychiatric Social Worker, where he teamed up with an Army nurse and toured the outlying fire bases. Then came the Tet Offensive. "Up to that time I was in pretty high cotton. I was in the Army, but I was still doing what I loved to do.... I just wasn't getting paid as much, and occasionally someone in the jungle cheap seats would lob a mortar at us." After Tet, everything changed.... he was in a real war.
When Denny returned from Viet NAM in 1968, he discovered that the music business that he had left had changed dramatically. "John Stewart had left the Kingston Trio. Kenny Rogers had left The Minstrels and was singing some pretty far out stuff as far as I was concerned. Everyone that I had known at the Record labels were gone and I just didn't fit in to the music business anymore. I got married and decided that I had better grow up and find a real job". He went back to school, first taking undergraduate and then graduate credits in Psychology and eventually ending up working in the Psychiatric ward of a V.A. hospital. "What an eye opener that was! Here it was the start of the Seventies, and that ward was run like something out of medieval times. It was lock them up and medicate them'. I began to seriously rock the boat. My wife was a TWA hostess, so we invited some of her fellow Stews to a barbecue where the patients themselves cooked the hamburgers". The patients were delighted, the girls were highly amused , but the Chief of Psychiatry was outraged. Two months later, Denny arranged to include about twenty of his more stable patients in a trip to Dodger stadium. Unfortunately, the game was being televised locally and the camera zoomed in on the patients in their hospital blues to find Denny and his charges happily chomping on Dodger Dogs. The next day Denny was looking for a new employer. "The detail men from the pharmaceutical companies that called on the hospital had been telling me that I was a natural for pharmaceutical sales." He went to work as a salesman in a family owned company and worked his way up to vice president. From there he became the division head of a larger company and then ultimately the head of the Animal Health Division of a Fortune 500 Company.
In the late Eighties, Denny left the Corporate world and opened his first Country Western nightclub. "My wife and I had been country dancing for about ten years at the time. We loved to two step, but we also enjoyed line dancing. There was only one big club in the Los Angeles area at the time and they treated line dancers like they had leprosy. One night when our group had been treated rudely by the manager of The Silver Bullet, I decided that I needed to open a club where the couples and line dancers could peacefully co-exist". Denny opened The Southern Cross at the top of The Holiday Inn in Torrance, CA. Two years later he opened his own place at the Galleria in Redondo Beach, CA where he began to teach a beginning line dance class. Using the performing skills that he had learned through years of being on the stage, to make his classes entertaining as well as informative, he quickly became one of the most popular teachers in the Los Angeles area. An old friend from the record business, who was now a Nashville executive, asked him to choreograph a dance for one his new acts. Unfortunately, the label went bankrupt and the artist wasn't picked up by another label. A year later, independent artist, Scooter Lee asked Denny to choreograph a dance for her new album. Be-Bop-A-Lula was a tremendous success, and Denny's new career as a choreographer was off and running. Since then he has choreographed dances for Jimmy Buffett, Billy Ray Cyrus, Dan Seals, Neal McCoy, The Tractors and many others.
As his stature in Nashville started to grow, he began to travel and teach in more and more areas. By the end of 1994 he was teaching so much that he found that he was running out of new material to teach. There was only one country dance magazine available at that time and he found that it wasn't meeting his needs. " I received my latest issue and found no less than five dances called "Chattahoochie" in the same issue. I called the magazine and complained to the editor. I told her that if her magazine didn't work harder at meeting the needs of more Country Dancers, another magazine was going to come along and capture their business. She agreed with me and suggested that the two of us might want to do just that. We decided to headquarter the magazine in an area that is closely associated with Country Music, and feeling that we would get lost in the big pond of Nashville, we opted for Branson, MO". Denny would be the publisher and Dorothy Guertin would be the editor of what became Step By Step Magazine.
The first issue of Step By Step hit the streets in the spring of 1995. The first three issues were nearly carbon copies of the magazine that Dorothy had previously worked for, and the subscriptions were slow in coming. In July, Step By Step unveiled it's new format and the magazine was on it's way. By April of the following year, Step by Step had become the largest selling Country Dance Magazine. In August and September, the magazine printed a two part BPM (beats per minute) guide that caught the attention of dancers and choreographers around the world. It is a conservative estimate that more than 200,000 dancers will read at least some part of Step By Step every single week of the year.
Denny continues to be in demand at events around the country as an instructor and MC. He has most recently been involved as a judge for TNN's Wild Horse Saloon Dance Contest Tour that began in Las Vegas in September and ends in Cleveland the third week in November. When asked if he gets tired of the hectic pace that his schedule demands, he answers, " I love music, laughter, dance and people. What else would I want to Do"!?
You can reach Denny at:
For a full list of Denny's dances see Section 1-1
Fred Rapoport is one of those guys whose mother dragged him to dance class when he'd rather be out playing ball with his friends. He got bit by the dance bug during the disco era 1970s. Fred is in his mid forties, lives about 30 miles west of Boston, and has been a part of the country dance community since 1990. He is happily a social dancer, who has the ability, but not the desire to compete, and a part time instructor, who has taken teacher training with Skippy Blair and Mary Hoedemann. An engineeer by profession, he choreographs line dances as a mental exercise, and finds the challenge in putting accurate dance moves to specific music patterns.
An admirer of Barry Durand, Fred agrees that the dancer, is the fifth member of a five piece band. He is the member who brings a piece of music to life. Fred is the author of the Encyclopedia of Country Music & Dance, which is the result of a computer program, he developed working as a DJ, and putting his engineering background to work, which can accurately match any piece of music with any dance.
Fred loves the country dance community and will do whatever he can to promote it and help others to keep it alive and well.
You can reach Fred at:
YHSC Dance Productions,
PO Box 167-COM,
Tel: 508 562 2286
For a full list of Fred's dances see Section 1-1A
Yesterday A Home Wrecker, Today A Country Western Dance Instructor!
Yes, Yes, I am a retired Housemoving and Demolition Contractor. I used to tease people that I was a Licensed Home Wrecker. It was true! I keep my license on inactive...just in case. Before that I was an Insurance Agent. I was in Insurance and Real Estate for 15 years the last 3 years I worked in an office that had no windows before I went bananas and quit. Then Housemoving, go figure.
Retirement is relaxing, calming and boring. I had always danced, but not as a scheduled activity, only as an outlet. In 1983 a friend talked me into going out dancing at Circle D (now PJs Country Connection). Frustration is the first word that comes to mind. It had been a long time since anyone had told me what to do, and this instructor was telling me where and when to put my feet! Goooood Luck! After a surprisingly short period of time, I actually started catching on; will wonders never cease. Being the type A personality that I am, it was dancing five nights a week. I was afraid of missing something. I wanted to know it all.
Within a year I was assisting in the instructing. The music was always a first love, but I had to polish up my research and memory habits. I hit all the clubs and several private lessons observing how other instructors taught. I talked with anyone that would listen and took notes. Piles of notes. Mostly what people did or did not like about the instructing. In the process, I have been very fortunate to have made life long friends. The easy part was listening to the great music. Oh my, it was just awful hard work ! ha ha! The music classes I took were hard work. You find out how little you know.
One night as I was getting ready to assist in the teaching, I was told I was to teach all by myself. The Instructor's wife had gone to the hospital to have their baby...(a bouncing baby girl by the name of Jennifer). Fear is another word that comes to mind. I couldn't think of one dance to teach, let alone the first step UNTIL I opened my mouth. I have been told I haven't shut it since. I love teaching. The look on the students face when it finally clicks is worth a million bucks. The people I meet, the music I hear and the fun we have is what life is all about.
Teaching Country Western Dancing is a great responsibility. There are so many dances that it boggles the mind. What a challenge! I love to dance, but my husband does not dance one step. He says he doesn't worry about his wife -she is not on the streets, she is just in the bars. Line dancing has made it possible for me and others like me to enjoy the wonderful Country Music. For that reason, I lean more toward the line dances, but also love the couples dances because of the team work it takes to make it look good. Also the more variety, the more fun.
As important as the dance step is; Dance Floor Etiquette and Courtesy is equally important. With more and more newcomers to the dance floor, it is increasingly urgent for the dance instructor to teach and the club owner to support Dance Floor Etiquette and Courtesy. In my classes, we have a lot of fun and I want to be sure everyone has a good time with out a hassle. The students should be able to feel confident that you have done everything in your power to help them go out on the dance floor. Remember it is just a silly dance! Have Fun! It's easy when you love what you do!
At this time I am working at PJ's Country Connection 3 to 5 nights a week. This year (1997) I decided to cut down just a bit. I am being drawn into another business in a totally different field and need a little more time. The dance team "PJ's Country Dancer's, that I originated and direct are still going strong. We have won all the local awards/certificates many times over and have been told we cannot compete again for them. Which is understandable in order to get others involved. So we have been put on the honor rolls, which is just as nice, but not competitive. At this time, I have them working on my new choreographed Waltz that I think is absolutely gorgeous. Boy, are they working hard. Out of the 18 couples only 8 to 10 couples will be performing it in public so we have competition within our borders. We are still doing all of the local Hospitals, children's homes, convalescent homes, senior's club's, etc. for that was my original intent in beginning, to give back to the community.
Contact Jeannie Woolman: (Dance Director for PJ's Country Dancer's)
See Section 1-1 for a list of Jeannie's dances.
For additional information on PJ's Country Dancers see Section 11
See Section 11 for a list of Jeannie's Line Dance books.
Lori Wong was born and raised in Fresno, CA. She started dancing when she was just a kid in grade school. Lori has two sisters and one brother who are at least tens years older (she has one other brother who is about 2 years older). When they were in high school, they would throw occasional dances at home in a large "activity room". Lori remembers doing the "mashed potato" and the "twist" among others, with all her older brother's and sisters' friends. With this kind of start, she loved to dance, so when she got to junior high and high school age, she used to go to school and church dances.
Lori went to California State University at Fresno and graduated with a degree in Physics. She met Cam, her husband, on a blind date that was set up by her brother, who was attending UC, Berkeley at the same time Lori was at Fresno. Lori got a job as a computational physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore while Cam worked at his dad's grocery store in Brentwood and worked on his master's degree at California State University, Hayward. Cam wasn't into dancing much - his idea of dancing was: at someone's wedding, after having a few drinks, and just doing the slow ones. They did, briefly, get into the disco scene - a few friends talked them into going to a disco place and after a few drinks, Cam would get out on the floor and dance a bit (maybe that's why he likes the hustle so much).
After nine years of living in the Livermore area, Cam and Lori decided that they were spending too much time up in the Sierra - either hiking or cross-country skiing on their weekends and vacations. They sold their house, had a new one built in the area outside of Twain Harte, and have been residents of Tuolumne County for the last 10 years. Lori works by telecommuting as a computer scientist with Lawrence Livermore Lab, and Cam works for Twain Harte Market in Twain Harte.
Lori had put on some weight after settling down in the mountains and when she decided to lose it, Cam was supportive and told her he'd do whatever she needed to help her lose the weight (Lori used to wear a size 16!). So, Lori enrolled them in an aerobics class - and Cam reluctantly accompanied her to class. She thinks that really helped Cam to be more comfortable with dancing, since any embarrassment that Cam could have had in a class of all women in the aerobics studio was experienced and gotten over with. Lori lost over 35 lbs. in the process and got talked into teaching aerobics (Lori is actually very shy!). She actually got involved in choreography then, by creating her own routines for her classes.
They both started C/W dancing (and line dancing in particular) when a friend of theirs was going through a marital separation and wanted to learn C/W dancing, but she wanted some familiar faces to come with her to class. Cam was not very receptive until Lori suggested that he only had to do one class and if he didn't like it, she wouldn't ask him again. He went along and was surprised at how much fun it was! Lori's enthusiasm spread to her aerobics students, who wanted to learn the line dances she was learning, so she started offering line dance classes at the aerobics studio. She started teaching line dance in August of 1993.
After 6 or 7 months, some disagreements arose with the owners of the gym and Lori decided to go on her own - and Wong Way Western Dancers was born. A dance friend encouraged Lori to compete - and when Lori tried her hand at writing a line dance, she was persuaded to enter it at the Golden Gate Classic. Much to Lori's surprise, her very first line dance attempt (Not So Funky Cowboy) took third place. Lori has since received awards for six of her dances - she's written a total of fourteen dances to date:
With all of the equipment and CDs necessary to teach, Lori also dee-jays country western and swing dances, private parties, and weddings. She's taught workshops at independent events: Mother Lode Line Dance Festival and Sierra Gold's Extravaganza, the Bay Area Line Dance Festival, Jim & Joey Sneed's Casa de Fruta weekend; CWDI events including: Cow Patty Kickers Dance Fest, Wild West Dance Festival, Golden Gate Classic, Pismo Beach Western Days, and California Country Harvest Dance Festival; and UCWDC events including: North Bay Dance Festival. Lori was hired to teach country western dancing at the Gold Country Tobacco Prevention Youth Summit in 1995 and she organized a benefit country western dance festival fundraiser for the Sonora Opera Hall in 1995.
Lori frequently attends UCWDC and CWDI events, in addition to other C/W dance workshops throughout Northern and Central California. Lori uses these workshops to continually improve her teaching and dancing skills. Her latest love is West Coast Swing and Hustle dancing and she has included swing events to her list of workshops to attend. She has been actively improving her skills in couples dancing, learning both the lead and follow for many of the couples dances.
When their schedule permits, she and her husband take classes from Robert Royston (current UCWDC Masters Champion and U.S. Open Classic Swing Champion) at Cowboy Country Club in Pleasanton.
Lori can be reached at:
24250 Oxbow Lane North
Sonora, CA 95370-9520, USA.
Tel: (209 ) 586-2016
Age: 49 Physically, Emotionally 12
Haubstadt, In 47639, USA.
Country DJ, Choreographer, Dance Instructor, Author and Contributing
Writer, Member of CWLDA, NTA, ADJA.
"Country Dance in the 90's!" Rick co-authored manual with Mike Erb - a guide on how to get into country dance - pick your location - how to teach - music and magazine sources as well as a data base of the most danced songs in US! arranged by BPM and alphabetically!
Fund Raisers - Rick has done over a 100 in the last few years - all at no charge - we are not in to country to become rich! In fact I feel a little bit like a preacher trying to help create a healthy life style. Country Dance is the most positive thing to come about that I can remember.
Rick has dj'd several of the NBC affiliate Country Spot light events in the Tri State (Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky) with WBKR Zack & Nick!
Choreographed "Rock IT!" a dance to Baby Likes To Rock IT! by the Tractors. NOMINATED FOR COUNTRY MUSIC DANCE AWARDS DANCE OF THE YEAR.
"Big Un'" a crazy fun dance created by "Hillbilly" Rick for Boy Howdy's song "Bigger Fish To Fry!" is your chance to dance and fish at the same time!
Rick has choreographed several other dances all geared towards having fun! For example The Strut, BIG Un', Speedo, Country Chicken, Duckman, CHES and Create A Dance!
Rick helped with "Rockin The Rodeo!" to a song called Rodeo Rock by Jimmy Collins!
"Swing City Jive!" to a song called "Swing City" by Roger Brown is the first dance choreographed by "Hillbilly" Rick & "the Lovely Linda" together. It is rapidly becoming one of the most popular dances of 1996.
"Miss Goody Two Shoes", by Bill Haniff, is fast becoming a popular energetic line dance on the East Coast, scheduled for release to the rest of the US shortly.
"Rattlesnake Shake!" released fall of 1996, watch out for the video and new song! It pushes the words country music to a new level or limit, but it is fun and watch out for the baby rattlers!
Rick writes for Mobile Beat magazine. Mobile Beat is a magazine aimed at the professional dj. Not only do Mobile dj's subscribe but also radio dj's, dance clubs & lot's of country dance instructors all looking for sources of music and the newest in electronic equipment (the toy's for the big boy's) Mobile Beat is published once every 2 months. Each issue features a good country dance for those interested as well as tip's for music and equipment suggestions.
Rick has been a contributing author in lot's of country dance & music publications. Some of these are Country Calendar, Country Connection, CWLDA, Dance Corral, Illinois Country Western Dance News, NACDI, Step By Step and Western Express.
Robo DJ of the Future! That's what some call him for being the first to invent and play his music on his person wireless while dancing. With a wireless minidisc straped to him he go's out and dances while dj ing.
Elvis Wild & Country - "Hillbilly" Rick hosted and instructed at the opening event for Gracelands Elvis week in August 1995. It was called Elvis Wild & Country.
Events Rick has DJ'd, supplied sound, taught and entertained at recently include:
Canada - visited and taught country dance with Anne Emslie in Toronto fall of 95. Country Bonanza in Toronto in May 1996 was a huge success and fun for all! Scheduled Back May 1997.
Rick's Motto for 1995-1996 is "KEEP IT FUN!" So Rick has concentrated more on teaching fun dances and entertaining those present than being serious and boring! Rick does not pretend to be the worlds best dancer, just somebody who loves what he does. Rick say's he plays and picks his music for the people not himself.
All ages can dance & enjoy the music, if you don't want to dance you can watch it's very entertaining! Rick doesn't care if you have two left feet, he says he can teach you to dance and he'll bet on that!
If you are planning a event close enough Rick can supply all sound equipment needed to do an event including wireless microphones. Further away Rick can Dj with your sound equipment or work with your event dj if you already have one. The new music Rick can bring to your event can help break that monotony of one song one dance. Rick can also instruct, mostly line dances right now, in a work shop atmosphere. Then he can teach a wild and wacky dance as part of your evenings entertainment.
In Las Vegas January 1997, Rick received the American Disc Jockey Associations award for Country Western D J of 1996!
"Wiggles" a new dance put's new meaning to the words hip action. Try this wild dance scheduled to be debuted in March 1997.
"Hillbilly" Walts the first song Rick and Daryl Ewing have worked together will be out shorthly with a dance to match!
You can reach Rick at:
R 2 Box 150A,