Bootscooting going strong with 200 members
"IT can be very addictive," line dance instructor Peter Willis admits.
The "fad" has certainly stood the test of time locally.
The Mid-North Coast Bootscooters is about to turn 20 and members and ex-members are getting ready to celebrate.
As Peter instructs dancers at the Wingham Memorial Services Club on a cold Monday morning, there is laughter and warmth within the group.
Some of the dancers, like June McLean, have been line dancing for more than 20 years.
"They do it for the exercise and the friendships," said Peter.
"A lot of friendships are made and the exercise is mental as well as physical."
Peter has been dancing for 22 years and was originally lured into it by an ex-girlfriend.
"I wasn't real keen at first but it was a lot of fun."
The Mid-North Coast Bootscooters was formed in July 1994 when a number of individuals and clubs around the Mid-North Coast combined to form a single club.
Still going strong today the club has more than 200 members dancing in Wingham, Taree, Coopernook, Forster and Tuncurry areas.
Bootscooting, more generally known now as line dancing has evolved over the past 20 years.
"At the socials a few get with the country thing," said Peter.
"But club shirts or casual clothes are more the things people wear now."
With the advances in technology over the past 20 years, Peter said the line dancing community has also changed with it.
"The groups are all on Facebook or send each other emails, we are all in contact with each other."
Line dancing can become a way of life and Peter said he has a lot of trips away to attend dances across the state.
To celebrate its 20th birthday, Mid-North Coast Bootscooters is holding a special line dance social on Saturday, July 5 at the Taree PCYC from noon to 4pm.
Ex-members of the club will dust off their boots and join in the fun too.
"There will be dancers there we haven't seen for more than 15 years," Peter said.
And despite the move away from everything being country, the social does indeed have a country and western theme.
So be sure to remember the cowboy hat and boots!
For further information about the birthday social, or line dance classes in the area, visit the web site www.midnorthcoastboot scooters.org or contact Eileen on 6557 4146 for the social or Peter on 6552 7220 for social and classes.