Boot Scootin’ in the Apocalypse

Here are two facts about me. I’d call them “fun” but that seems a stretch:

  1. I never go dancing.
  2. I don’t like country music.

But for some reason, I have long had a fascination with line dancing…which pretty much requires country music. I can’t see line dancing to AC/DC or Elton John, but Brooks & Dunn or Brooks, Garth? That’s another story. Rapid City has a free concert series every Thursday during the summer called Summer Nights. They block off one of the main streets downtown, set up a stage, and sell food and drinks. It’s always a great way to enjoy good music, people watch, and get a little buzzed.

Frequently, the performers are country bands, and just as frequently, people in the crowd start line dancing in the street. I love watching them! One time last summer, three Cheladas in, I told Tara, “We should take line dancing lessons!” She nodded her head and said “sure,” which was slightly less placating than a pat on the back.

When those words came out of my mouth I looked around, wondering who had spoken them. Surely not me. I don’t dance. Some people “trip the light fantastic” but I am more likely to “trip, under the light, spastic” if I even attempt a move. People who stumble their way across the dance floor are described as having two left feet. I am so clumsy and lacking in rhythm, I have at least three feet, I swear.


And yet, last Sunday, I found myself line dancing in the living room. Granted, there was no line because it was just me, but you gotta start somewhere, right? (That’s the best part about line dancing—seeing the crowd move together in syncopated rhythm.) They say the secret to learning how to dance is to watch the performers’ feet. Easier said than done in some cases, ’cause I sure as hell am not looking at a bellydancer’s feet. But in line dancing, this makes sense. So, over the weekend, I found a short six-minute YouTube video that provided instruction on a basic line dance routine called the cowboy hustle. Watched it over and over again for an hour, practicing the moves until I mastered them. Which, given my three point seven left feet (this is what I have settled on), was surprisingly easy. And then I switched to music…actual country music (who the hell am I?!)…and practiced some more.

See? She doesn’t even have feet!

I swear, only a pandemic would persuade me to teach myself line dancing. I’m now wondering what other skills I can learn on YouTube while everything is closed, postponed, or cancelled and there is nothing else to do. Maybe I can learn how to build a birdhouse or cook a cheese soufflé.

Or maybe I’ll take a crack at some great unsolved math problem, like the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture, which has stumped the world’s greatest thinkers for 20 years. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, but just in case, it’s that old chestnut that describes the set of rational solutions to equations defining an elliptic curve.


Easy-peasy, right? The Clay Mathematics Institute is offering a $1,000,000 prize for the first correct proof. I could stimulate the hell out of the economy with that kind of dough, so why not?

Then again, I “passed” basic geometry with a D, and only because the curve was so steep it makes the Rambo ski run at Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado, with its 55-degree pitch and eight-foot vertical jump turns, look like a walk in the part.


On second thought, I think I’ll stick to boot scootin’ boogiein’.

22 thoughts on “Boot Scootin’ in the Apocalypse

  1. Once upon a time, I lined danced. I think I’ve forgotten all of them.

    But partner dancing? My husband and I used to compete in West Coast Swing and Hustle and a few other dances. That’s how we met.

    We hardly dance anymore, though, which is sad. It’s supposed to be the best way to fend off the perils of old age. Unfortunately, in the Time of Corona, line dancing is probably the safest option. Good for you. Next, up, yoga. Ooooohhhhmmmm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Swing dancing is also fun to watch. And it seems about a million times harder, because you’ve got to use your arms AND legs. I’m lucky to be able to figure out just one of those.

      I have never yoga’d, though I yogurt often. Greek mostly.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m clumsy so boot scootin’ boogie would be a nightmare for all concerned. I’m sure trying to do it by myself I’d end up hurting myself. But you scoot along all you want, I admire you for trying. It’s a brave new world and we all must do what we can to survive.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you . . . not interested in country music, but line dancing is intriguing!

    An Instagrammer I follow (or maybe she’s a social influencer?) is asking people to send in videos of themselves teaching something for all of us to learn during this time of social distancing. I’ve got nothing, but maybe I’ll pick up a new skill? Lol!


    1. Ooh, I like that idea! Not enough for me to submit a line dancing video, of course…I’ve only been doing this a few days…but it’s a good way to inspire others.

      If you want to learn something new, now is the time!


  4. If I start country line dancing, we’ll know hell hath frozen over. Then again, it’s far more likely than me solving that theorem. My husband has been to Crested Butte many times. I wonder if he’s skied that particular part. I’ll have to ask. Anyhow, cheers to trying new things!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ok that’s interesting because, just since I started bingeing Dance Mom’s, I’ve suddenly come across two how-to dance videos without searching for any such thing (algorithms at work?) and now I’m considering trying some since I need to get some exercise and the weather is not cooperating. You’ll be line dancing and I’ll be doing…I don’t know what mine are…modern pop jazz?

    I’ll meet you on next season’s So You Think You Can Dance?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We had so much in common with #1 and #2, and then you went and started line dancing. You’ve just unwittingly put “Achy, Breaky Heart” in my head and for that I can never forgive you.

    Allow me to help put the brakes on this disturbing new pastime. First, you can stream a zillion workouts on demand with a $35 3-month membership to Beachbody. I already use P90X and Insanity videos at home, so I know they have good stuff. Because my gym is now closed, I signed up yesterday. There, that takes care of physical movement needs. Second, The Great Courses is now offering a free 1-month trial. If Beachbody has zillions of videos, then The Great Courses has kajillions of courses. I have three language courses from them and we’ve watched the entire series on ancient architecture, which was fascinating (and I’m not even interested in architecture), so that takes care of mental stimulation needs.

    Now please, stop line dancing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Mark, I don’t really know much about line dancing although I used to know people who treated line dancing almost like a fitness class. It is funny how great a resource YouTube is. It will be interesting to hear how people spend their time over the next while. Whatever floats your boat! Stay healthy!


  8. I do my line dancing sitting in a chair. There’s foot tappers, foot stompers and hippie hippie shakes. Does getting one of them Texas hats improve one’s dancing or just take the attention off the crappy dancing efforts ?

    Liked by 1 person

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