23 Truths Only Those Who Get Down And Dirty — Country Line Dancers — Know Too Well

23 Truths Only Those Who Get Down And Dirty — Country Line Dancers — Know Too Well

Let's head down to the barn!

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I have been doing country line dancing for about two years now. When I first planned to go, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Other than the fact that I would be dancing, I didn't really do any research on what country line dancing really is.

Pretty much, if you think it's going to be a "hoe down" of square dancing, you're wrong. Line dancing is done across the globe, going as far as Germany. There's over thousands of dances done and taught around the world by millions of choreographers (myself included).

If you're a country line dancer, there's something unique about you. But only you, will understand these 23 facts.

1. You never count down, only up.

While most people usually count down "three, two, one", you tend to count up with "five, six, seven, eight (dance)."

2. You also consider "and" as a number.

One, two, AND, three, four...

3. Wall amnesia 

If you line dance, you'll know this.

4. Your memory has nothing but dances.

I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning, but I can show you a dance I haven't done in two years!

5. But you'll often find yourself going "How's this one start again?"

Once the music plays, it all comes back. It's hard to remember the start to dances when you know so many!

6. Doing a dance "vanilla" to help a beginner learn it

The kindest of hearts do this and it always ends in the most polite thank you from the beginner.

7. When you've been working on that one move and finally nail it.

It takes some people a really long time to *really* get that dance move down. But once you do, it's the biggest victory of all.

8. Straight lines are satisfying to you.

Nothing brings more joy than seeing people in a nice straight line!

9. When you hear a song to a dance on the radio and yell "restart"

Line dancers will get this!

10. When you can't sleep cause you're doing the new dance you learned in your head.

I've lost so many hours of sleep cause of this and I'm not even mad!

11. You have to stop yourself from breaking out into dance.

I know I'm not the only one. You're at the store and all of a sudden a song you dance to comes on. And you're stuck fighting the urge to get up and start dancing in the isle. Or you don't find the urge and do it anyway!

12. You find yourself with A.D.D. (attention dance distraction).

You can be mid conversation and hear a song that you love the dance to and just completely forget the conversation being had!

13. Getting distracted during a dance is common

The amount of times I zone out and start doing a different dance is probably bad. Or all the times I'm too busy singing to the song and forget I'm dancing!

14. Also fighting not to dance in the car.

The radio playing is a blessing and a curse.

15. You can find a dance to ANY song.

Most line dances can be done to multiple songs. If you've ever learned the cowboy charleston (one of the oldest line dances that's still done today) you'll find that you can do it to probably 50+ songs. "Craving You", "Mud on the Tires", "Here for Love", the list goes on and on.

16. You will always defend your hobby!

Line dancers often get a not so great reputation. "It's just to boring country music" or "that can't be fun!" Line dancers know the truth of country line dancing, don't knock it till you try it!

17. You always have an idea if someone says "what should we do?"

Got nothing to do this weekend? Go line dancing. Want to do something fun for your bacherlorette party? Go line dancing. Want to do something cute and fun with your spouse/partner? Take a partner lesson at your local line dancing club.

18. The friendships you make are timeless.

For two years, I've been dancing at the Mishnock Barn, a line dancing club in Coventry, Rhode Island. In those two years, I've made not only friends, but family. You share your true colors with them.

19.  The laughs are endless.

A commonly shared moment is when the Dj calls out a dance and you so badly want to do it, so you hope someone else on the floor remembers it to follow them. Turns out nobody does and you all laugh while working together to figure it out!

20. It's the best thing to stay in shape.

Line dancing is a great workout. I go about three nights a week and dance for probably around three to four hours! I know a couple that goes four to five times a week and originally started going to lose weight. They've both lost 55+ lbs!

21. It's great for all ages.

At my local line dance club, while we don't allow anyone under 16 because we have a bar, it's great for any ages! My boyfriend has taught at a couple events where he taught kids as young as 4. We also have a couple that comes to our local line dance club and they're 83 and 86!

22. It can be really romantic.

Fun fact, I met my boyfriend at the Mishnock Barn (which his parents own). We honestly fell in love dancing together and we couldn't be happier. A lot of the couples that line dance have met that way or started going together and are the happiest because it's their special time together!

23. You couldn't imagine your life without it.

It's the best thing to ever come into your life and nothing makes you happier than when your boots hit that dance floor. Life problems disappear, even for just a little while. The best comfort.

One thing is for sure. A group of line dancers are family. They complete the dance. Someone knows the beginning, someone knows the ending, someone knows the restart, and everyone is there for the same thing...to join for the love of dancing. If you country line dance, you know that it's a home away from home and life wouldn't be the same if you hadn't started.

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11 Great Books For People Who Don't Like Reading

If you don't like to read, this is the article for you.
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I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll say it again, I am no reader. My twin sister, on the other hand, is a huge curly-q bookworm.

I always see her flying through novels for pure pleasure. I'll be honest, the sight of it makes me cringe. My body won't stay still after I get through 20 pages (unless I'm hooked). You can consider me the girl who doesn't finish anything (like Professor Calamitous in Jimmy Neutron...I even have the short stature down).

Maybe my dislike of reading stems from teachers force feeding us excruciatingly boring summer assignments.

1984? Straight up diarrhea

Fahrenheit? Vomit vomit vomit.

Animal Farm? Excruciatingly yuck.

The only thing I enjoyed about Animal Farm was laughing at how awful the movie was. On the other hand, give me a young adult novel, and you can count me in. I guess I have Vikas Turakhia to thank for introducing me to J.D Salinger and provoking my drive to become a better writer--after he made me cry and gave me a B- for a report regarding a book about Polenta. High-School was a time... amiright?

Anyway, even though I am not a big reader, there are still a few books that have stuck with me throughout the years. Here is a list of novels I highly recommend to those who associate reading with chores...this time it won't have to be.

1. Looking for Alaska

"Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words–and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps." -JohnGreenBooks.com

2. Eleanor and Park

"Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try." -Goodreads.com

3. City of Thieves

Written by the writer and producer of Game of Thrones... enough said. Another book that I was forced to read thanks to Vikas Turakhia and one I will never put down.

4. Paper Towns

"Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life–dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge–he follows. After their all-nighter ends and new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues–and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew." -Johngreenbooks.com

5. Franny and Zooey

"FRANNY came out in The New Yorker in 1955 and was swiftly followed, in 1957 by ZOOEY. Both stories are early, critical entries in a narrative series I'm doing about a family of settlers in twentieth-century New York, the Glasses. It is a long-term project, patently an ambiguous one, and there is a real-enough danger, I suppose that sooner or later I'll bog down, perhaps disappear entirely, in my own methods, locations, and mannerisms. On the whole, though, I'm very hopeful. I love working on these Glass stories, I've been waiting for them most of my life, and I think I have fairly decent, monomaniacal plans to finish them with due care and all-available skill." -Salinger

6. The Catcher in the Rye

"The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days.

The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain too, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

J.D. Salinger's classic novel of teenage angst and rebellion was first published in 1951. The novel was included on Time's 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923. It was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. It has been frequently challenged in the court for its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality and in the 1950's and 60's it was the novel that every teenage boy wants to read." -Goodreads.com

7. The Westing Games

"A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing's will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger - and a possible murderer - to inherit his vast fortune, one thing's for sure: Sam Westing may be dead... but that won't stop him from playing one last game!" -Goodreads.com

8. Milk and Honey

"milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look. " -Goodreads.com

9. Room

"To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world....

Told in the inventive, funny, and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience - and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible.

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another." -Goodreads.com







10. Replica

"Two Girls, Two Stories, One Book"- Goodreads.com

11. Mother, Can You Not?

"In Mother, Can You NOT?, Kate Siegel pays tribute to the woman whose helicopter parenting may make your mom look like Mother Teresa. From embarrassing moments (like her mother’s surprise early morning visit, catching Kate in bed with her crush) to outrageous stories (such as the time she moved cross country to be near Kate’s college) to hilarious mantras (“NO STD TEST, YOU WON’T BE GETTING SEXED!”), Mother, Can you NOT? lovingly lampoons the lengths to which our mothers will go to better our lives (even if it feels like they’re ruining them in the process)." -kateesiegel.com
Cover Image Credit: 123RF

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10 Ways To Take Care Of Your Heart

February is here and it's time to discuss its most important themes: black history and heart disease.

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February is both Black History Month and American Heart Month. Both are incredibly important, especially to me. It's so important for everyone, especially African Americans, to take care of their heart.

According to statistics, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, with one in four deaths being caused by heart disease. In the black community, the rates are much higher, causing 48% of women and 44% of men to die from heart disease. High blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes are all leading risk factors to heart disease.

These are some lifestyle changes you can make to lower your chances of suffering from heart disease.

1. Exercise! Exercise! Exercise!

2. Know your numbers.

Check in with your doctor to see about your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels. If something seems a little high or a little low, don't freak out! Just make sure to ask the questions in order to get them to normal. On the other hand, if something seems high or low, don't ignore it, address it!

3. Watch what you eat.

Talk is very cheap people! We (meaning I) must do better about actually changing our diet and not just talking about it.

4. Take your meds.

5. Lower your stress.

6. Quit smoking.

I mean really, why is this even still a thing?

7. Cut back on the salt.

Yes, that means less processed food and restaurants, I know.

8. Know your family history.

Ask your parents and grandparents what your family health history is like. You never know what could be genetically a threat to your life!

9. Find a primary doctor.

I am guilty when it comes to not wanting to go to the doctor. I am not a fan of any doctors, but that doesn't mean I don't need to do better. Find a primary doctor, but make sure it is somebody you like! The experience is always much better when you actually enjoy your visits.

10. Spread the word. 

Teach your family members, especially your kids, how to take care of themselves and lower their chances as well. A healthy family is a happy family!

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