Moving U: Line Dancing, A Fun Way To Work Out Your Body And Mind

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Line Dancing has become a sport enjoyed by dancers around the world. Here in South Florida, many are line dancing as a unique and fun way to work out the body and the mind. CBS4’s Lissette Gonzalez had the chance to put on her boots and get a lesson in line dancing at the Pinecrest Community Center.

Kathy Gurdjian, also known as “Kathy G,” has been teaching line dancing at the Pinecrest Community Center for nearly 10 years and has been promoting line dancing for over 20 years.

“I love music and I love dancing. When you put them together, it’s a win-win situation,” Gurdjian told Gonzalez. “I started taking classes in Miami and I got hooked. I needed to dance more and it led to teaching and having my own classes.”

But this isn’t your typical do-si-do. Line dancing has evolved over the years.

“The line dancing we do these days, we call it modern dancing even though we do country line dancing, we dance to all different types of music,” explained Gurdjian. “We dance to cha-cha, waltz and whatever is really popular on the radio these days.”

Line dancing is a group dance. Dancers form a line and do a repeated set of steps that is choreographed. While everyone is in a line or row, there is no physical contact with the other dancers, but you do dance together following the repeated steps at the same time. Because line dancing involves low-impact cardiovascular exercise while remembering steps and the need to think, it is a workout for the brain as much as the body.

“If you can get up off the chair and on a line dance floor, you are moving. And if you are moving, you are exercising,” explained Gurdjian.  “And in choreography for line dancing you have to actually remember a set of steps, and once you’re working your brain all the way to your feet, you’re having great fun exercising at the same time.”

Line dancing motivated Eloise Rodriguez to get moving. She reached out to us through our Moving U you campaign to share how she has benefited from it.

“I’ve always loved dance ever since I was a little girl and so finally found a type of dance as an adult that I love,” said Rodriguez. “And it’s also social. It’s not just exercise. It’s a social exercise. We get to have dances. We have a class and there are different levels and as you get better, you move on.”

Rodriguez lost a total of 70 pounds while working out and line dancing.

“It’s a work in progress, I’m still working on it, but line dancing keeps me motivated. It keeps you going and you enjoy it so much you just want to keep doing it,” explained Rodriguez. “It’s a great opportunity to participate in something that’s social, but at the same time you’re exercising. You’re heart rate goes up, you end up sweating, all the good things that make you lose weight.”

Psychologist Dr. Mary Weatherford was working out with a trainer twice a week and was looking for something new and different when she discovered line dancing.

“It helps build balance and flexibility,” explained Dr. Weatherford. “It’s a weight bearing exercise so it helps to strengthen bones. It also helps people with anxiety and depression.”

Dr. Weatherford told Gonzalez that although she loves that you don’t need a partner to participate in line dancing, she also enjoys the comradery and making new friends.

“We have a party every couple of months and we all get together,” said Dr. Weatherford. “We laugh, have a good time and do a lot of dancing.”

Beyond the physical benefits of line dancing, the classes help build friendships as students meet outside of class to practice at country bars and dance at local meet ups.

“It’s just a lot of fun and you make a lot of friends in the line dancing community,” explained Gurdjian.

For more information on you can kick up your heels and learn how to line dance, click on the link below to sign up for Gurdjian’s classes at the Pinecrest community center. Basic, Intermediate and advanced classes are available.

Here is the direct link for the beginners class.

And for more information on other locations across South Florida that offer line dancing classes, visit these sites:

Remember, CBS4 wants to know what’s Moving U. Email your story to movingu@cbsmiami.com and let us know what you’re doing to stay healthy and happy. Perhaps your story, like Eloise’s, will serve to inspire others.

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