By Eduardo Castaeeda
Cal Poly Pomona students put on some cowboy and cowgirl hats for an evening of country music and dancing on Thursday.
The Bronco Recreation and Intramural Complex joined the Associated Students, Inc. Bronco Events and Activities Team to host free country line dancing lessons at the BRIC pool deck.
After many requests, the BRIC and BEAT decided to teach the traditional American line dance on campus to provide students with another opportunity to demonstrate their school pride, said Jasmine Vu, BEAT programming chair and a second-year graphic design student.
“I heard some good reviews on it, and I’m surprised that it’s not a tradition on our campus,” said Vu. “This will help students get out of their comfort zones and dance. They can make new friends and enjoy campus activities because they’re free. Most students don’t like country music, but they should come for the dance.”
Students filled up the BRIC pool deck with their best cowboy and cowgirl attire. ASI provided accessories like hats, bandanas and stickers to help students celebrate the evening in style. Other activities like Jenga, pin the tail on the donkey, a photo booth and ticket raffles were available to students.
Qdoba catered the event and offered nachos and toppings. Cha For Tea also joined and provided samples of its classic teas and boba drinks.
After students created a country-inspired look and grabbed a bite to eat, they spread out along the pool deck for some professional line dance lessons.
Shelly Graham, dance instructor at The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon, taught new and experienced students three popular country line dancing techniques to give them a taste of what line dancing is all about.
Graham eased students into the lessons with the widely known Electric Slide. The Electric Slide is a four-wall line dance that is practiced among several cultures with a variety of music genres. Students danced across from each other in separate lines and then faced a new direction to change the pace of the dance.
After the first lesson, Graham asked students to introduce themselves to each other and asked them about their knowledge of line dancing and similar styles. She shared more information about herself and had an opportunity to interact with the students.
“This is a great event. I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and I am excited to be teaching at the Pomona campus. There are so many good dancers here, so we will probably do a dance off later tonight,” said Graham.
Graham introduced students to a second line dance called Two-Step Line Dance. This line dance is a faster form of the Electric Slide that incorporates the original side-to-side movements with kicks, twirls and grapevine slides.
As students practiced their grapevines and twirls, Graham announced that she would select the best dancers of the evening and reward them with movie tickets. More students joined the group lesson for a chance to impress Graham and win a movie ticket.
With the largest class of the evening, Graham taught students the Cowboy Up technique, which includes the previous dances with a combination of turns, high kicks and leg extensions on the ground. Graham ended the master class with this dance style.
Several students thanked Graham for giving them a chance to learn the popular dance techniques.
Katrina Acott, a fourth-year business student, said she enjoyed the evening because it was an unexpected way to spend her Thursday night.
“My friends were coming out tonight, and I decided to join them to see what was going on. I used to hate country music, and my boyfriend recently converted me into a country-music lover,” said Acott. “Line dancing is more of a group dance, and it’s a fun place to go with friends and meet new people.”
Bridget Goodwin, a third-year communication transfer student, was one of several experienced line dancers who expressed her excitement about attending the first line-dancing event at CPP.
“I love country music, and I love line dancing. I work here at the BRIC, and I’ve wanted our fitness coordinators to host a line dancing class for a while now,” said Goodwin. “I’m extremely grateful that BEAT was able to make this happen for us. I know there are a lot of country fans on campus, and I knew that people would really like this.”
Eduardo Castaeeda / The Poly Post
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