Welcome to our sixth email newsletter for 2019 to all our dancers that have given us their email addresses.
Further below is information about:
Health Benefits of Line Dance
Professionalism and Social Responsibility
2019 Social Schedule
Our PNG Cruise
2020 LDSA Overseas Tour - Hawaii / Tahiti / NZ Cruise
Social Media and Advertising
Future OS travel opportunities
Thanks Liz & Peter Heath and the Instructor Team
We are opening a new beginners class in Christies Beach on a Friday Morning. It will be a 2 hour class starting at 10am and is being held in the Noarlunga Seniors club, 9 Hunt Crescent, Christies Beach. Johnathon will be running the class, and is starts on 11th October (just after the long weekend). If you want a second class, or know someone who might be interested, please pass on the info.
Health Benefits of Line Dance
It is great to see that the medical fraternity and media are finally becoming aware of the benefits of dance, and specifically line dance. There have been quite a few medical studies over the last few years that are proving what we have known all along... line dancing is very, very good for your body and mind.
I have had a number of people ring me about classes, based on referrals from their health professionals. Sometimes for the exercise benefits, and sometimes for the opportunity to inject some personal time away from the responsibilities of the complicated and stressful lives we often lead (especially for those with carer responsibilities).
It has four major components that provide one of the best forms of exercise based entertainment that exists. These are:
Cardiovascular Exercise - It gets your blood pumping and uses calories. Everyone is supposed to get at least 30 mins of exercise a day on average. A couple of line dance classes a week and you are all set.
Varied Weight Bearing Exercise - We move in various directions, not just forward but back and sideways. This provides unique low impact stresses on the bones and muscles that assist in building bone density and varied muscle strengthening, rather than just forward moving running or walking.
Mind Exercise - Because the dance routines are always changing, the brain gets worked real hard. This helps the continuous creation of new connections in the brain, reducing the degradation of the memory and repelling the onset of dementia. Also, because you have to concentrate on what you are doing, the problems of the "real world" tend to be forgotten for a while, creating a couple of hours of "me time" which is so good to help recharge the battery.
Social Interaction - Never underestimate the health benefits of meeting friends on a regular basis and the injection of laughter into your life. I know in my class we spend about 15% of the time laughing, not at each other, but with each other. Laughter creates endorphins in the brain that increase the sense of well being. Many of our dancers say that if it wasn't for the routine of going to line dance classes, they wouldn't have the incentive to get our of bed in the morning.
So, if you have got out of the habit of going to class, keep in mind what it is you are missing, and maybe try to get your class back into the routine of your life. It is worth it and could just extend your healthy part of life, before it is too late.
Professionalism and Social Responsibility
Line Dancers of South Australia work very hard to produce a professional presentation for our customers. I am sure many of you have no idea what happens behind the scenes, and how hard your instructors work to provide the product you expect and enjoy. I thought I might just explain a little about what we do and why.
First off, we believe we have a social responsibility to the people that provide us the materials that enable us to continue our past-time. We pay a license fee to allow us to publicly play the music we use in class. Part of this fee goes back to the musicians and composers that produce the music, enabling them to continue doing what they do. We also purchase our music legally to support the musicians. This literally costs us thousands of dollars a year.
We are very careful in selecting the venues we use, to ensure the safety and comfort of our dancers. We avoid carpet or dangerous floor surfaces. We also are very careful in providing low turn and low impact alternatives for those that have physical or balance issues, so they can participate equally. We are also careful to have the necessary insurances to ensure we provide a safe environment.
We are careful in the placement and level of classes to ensure the long term future of all of the classes in the area. There is no point in setting up a higher level class, if there are no lower level classes in the vicinity to provide a stream of new dancers to replace those lost to attrition over time. We attempt to provide a pyramid structure of available classes at various levels and encourage people to move up when they are capable and willing. Usually there are multiple classes of a lower level to support a smaller number of higher level classes. It is this structure that has enabled us to survive over 25 years, while the majority of our competitors have closed due to lack of customers.
Over the last two years we have completely replaced all of our heavy sound equipment with a new lighter and more compact set of equipment which is easier to transport and set up.
Our organisation has all of its dance sheets for the instructors being stored electronically on their readers. This has saved tons of paper over the last 10 years, which is great for the environment, and also makes it easier to update and correct any dance sheets that may be found to be inconsistent.
All step sheets now pass though a terminology checker that ensures the terminology we use will be consistent for all dances old and new, making it the only organisation in the world that has this facility. We will soon be publishing a booklet that captures this terminology and our difficulty level structure, so you the dancers can keep track of your knowledge or clarify any misunderstandings.
We have published a book "Line Dance Essentials" (available in bookshops world wide) which captures our teaching techniques, so other instructors and dancers around the world can learn from our experiences and improve their skills as well.
Most of our LDSA instructors voluntarily attend regular workshops where they continue their training, and represent their dancers in the selection of music and dances to be used in future programmes. Quite often they will research 50+ dances in a day. At this forum they also discuss issues regarding class structure, location or content to ensure a consistent and relevant product across the whole network. We have discussions (sometimes quite heated LOL) about terminology and difficulty levels of the dances.
Our instructors are part of a network that enables them to call on a replacement should they want to go on holidays, or to recover from an illness or family tragedy. All of the instructors use the same language, music and equipment, allowing us to swap instructors around with minimal disruption.
The main thing we try to do is to provide a high level of quality, so you can have the best line dance experience possible with the least issues. All of this does come at a cost however, and we hope that you understand the price you pay at the door reflects supporting this world leading and ethical organisation to continue into the future.
I just had some disappointing news yesterday. We had tickets to see one of the great Country Music artists Tim McGraw here in Adelaide. The concert has been canceled through lack of ticket sales. In the past Liz and I have traveled to Melbourne and Brisbane to see country music artists like Brooks & Dunn and Alan Jackson, because they were not appearing in Adelaide. It is such a shame that we don't get sufficient support here in Adelaide to attract these artists here.
There is a new 8 part TV series called "Country Music - a film by Ken Burns" that is available in the USA and will hopefully be coming to Australia, probably on SBS I'd guess. Each 2 hour episode explores the roots of Country Music in the USA from 1933 right through to today's Country Music megastars. I would hope that with enough publicity it might dispel some of the misconceptions that people have about country music.
Many people I talk to say they "hate country music" and don't come to line dancing because of the association we have with it. I always try to tell them that we don't just play country music, but many don't believe me. What they say they don't like is the "whiny - dog got run over by a car, left my wife and I'm too drunk to stand" type songs that they have heard somewhere. Hey, I don't like those types of songs much either, and I live and breathe country music all day every day.
The term "Country Music" is as diverse as the term "Pop Music". It covers many genre's of music from Gospel, R&B, Western (the whiny stuff), Zydeco, Rockabilly, Bluegrass and Country Rock and many more. Country music has been embedded in the "Pop" music scene for as long as pop music has been around. I didn't realise that many of my favourite bands from the 70's were country music bands. Bands such as: The Eagles, Dr. Hook, The Bellamy Brothers, and singers such as Elvis Presley, Anne Murray, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers are all country music artists. Then you have the many new artists such as Kelly Clarkeson, Miley Cyrus, Keith Urban, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Shania Twain and Taylor Swift who have all started in the country music scene and been adopted as pop stars.
There are many other country artists that should have better popularity in Australia if they could only get some quality airtime. Artists like Alan Jackson, George Strait, Tim McGraw etc are great to listen to, and not a bit whiny.
If you are not convinced, there is a DAB radio station called "MMM Country" that plays modern country music that is not even a little bit whiny LOL. Give it a listen if you have a digital radio. If the TV series comes to Aussie TV, give it a watch, you might learn to appreciate the diversity that is Country Music.
Christmas is fast approaching, and with it comes the Christmas class break. Most classes will shut after the first week in December, and reopen the first week in February. This year we are planning on running a small number of classes through the break. Johnathon has volunteered to run these classes. The current plan is an easy level class in the morning and a transition class in the afternoon. These will run probably at Prospect on a Tuesday and Clarence Gardens on a Thursday. We cannot keep lots of classes open throughout the break, but at least you can still get your fix if you want it, you just may have to travel a bit. The classes will be run predominantly by request and there wont be any "new" dances being introduced, but we have thousands of existing dances to choose from, so you wont get bored.
The Xmas dance is sold out. We have nearly 250 people coming, and that is the limit for comfort in the hall. It is going to be a wonderful event, so I hope those that were wanting to come got their tickets early.
Your instructor is in charge of seating their tables, so speak to them if you have any issues. They will meet you at the door and direct you to their tables. Doors open at 1.30pm (definitely not before).
There will be fruit smoothies available for $7 and a limited selection of cans of drink for $2.
Your ticket includes a 7 hour social, 2 course dinner, nibbles throughout the day, lolly bar for a sugar fix, tea, coffee and water. We have taken note of dietary requirements (vegetarian, gluten etc) so if you haven't mentioned it to your instructor, please let us know urgently,
Please note that the lolly bar is for consumption at the social, not for a following day snack and not to take home to the grand kids (handbags will be inspected on the way out :-) ).
2019 Social Schedule
Confirmed dates for the rest of the 2019 Sunday Socials at the 7th Day Adventist Hall, Ballville St, Prospect 1.30pm-5pm are: 29th September and 1st December. Unfortunately the original advertised September and December dates were unavailable because of church commitments, so we have moved them to later in September and earlier in December rather than cancelling. We are exploring alternative venues for next year due to the difficulties we have had this year with the current venue, however finding a suitable hall we can afford on weekends is proving difficult.
Our PNG Cruise
58 of our dancers and friends went on a cruise to Papua New Guinea in August. We had a wonderful time, though many seemed to cop a cough/cold either during or after the return to land. It was a smaller ship than the ones we have previously been on, but larger ships couldn't go to the ports we went to, so that was the compromise we had to make.
Keeping in mind that PNG is a very poor country, it was also very colorful and interesting as well. Thanks to those that donated things for the locals. We distributed them at a couple of stops so the gifts were shared around.
Our first stop was at Alotau, in Milne Bay on the tip of the mainland. Many of us took a tour with Wilma and her guides around the local villages. One of our visits was to a local school. The kids all put on a performance for us, with singing and dancing. We decided to do a little impromptu performance of our own, and lined up for "Achy Breaky Heart". The kids went into hysterics at these "oldies" bumping their hips etc. There is a video of it on our Facebook page. We were even asked to do an encore for the adults in the next village with a similar response.
Our next stop at Kitava was cancelled due to inclement weather stopping the tenders from disembarking on the beach, so we moved on. Apparently they stop there only about half the time. We ran another LDSA class on board instead.
The next stop was at Rabaul. This township was flattened by a volcanic eruption in 1994, and was never rebuilt. The roads were the worst I have ever seen in all our travels, and the bus trip to the volcano observatory was a challenging but very interesting trek. We just got back before the rain hit, but it was definitely worth the effort. The locals were very keen on selling their wares and I have not seen such a colorful array of clothing and materials anywhere else in the world.
We then moved on to Kirawina Island. The locals came from far and wide to sell there wares to the tourists. They were lined up from the beach to the village on both sides. The wood carvings that they produce were world class and very reasonably priced. It was unfortunate that many people tried to buy them with Australian dollars rather than the local Kina currency. There are no banks on the island to exchange the money once the tourists leave. A few woven bags were confiscated by customs due to small bugs in the weave, but generally all the wood was allowed back into Australia provided there were no borer holes in them.
The last stop was Conflict Islands. This was paradise on earth. A beautiful tropical paradise with pristine beaches and coral and fish to see straight off the beach. I could have stayed there for a week relaxing.
All in all, it was a great holiday. I will note that we did have a few medical incidents (I got seasick one day as did a couple of others). If I can pass on one bit of advice to prospective travellers: take out travel insurance, and make sure you declare any pre-existing conditions at the time. It may cost a bit more, but if you don't and one of those conditions comes into effect, the insurance companies will likely refuse to pay the expenses, and they can be quite high.
2020 LDSA Overseas Tour
We have organised a "relocation" cruise from approx 23rd Sept to 17th Oct 2020. It will be on the "very big" Ovation of the Seas with Royal Caribbean. We will be flying to Hawaii, where we will stay in a hotel for 2 days while we tour Oahu, including an evening Luau and day visit to Pearl Harbour. From there we will board the cruise ship heading towards Tahiti. We have 3 days in French Polynesia and after more cruise days, 3 days in New Zealand (Picton, Wellington & Napier) before docking in Sydney and flying home. We deliberately chose the larger ship so that we had more choice of dining and entertainment options over the trip.
We have been fortunate enough to have a number of Balcony cabins held for us for the all inclusive price of $7000 twin share (cheaper for three or four share). This price includes airfares, accommodation and touring in Hawaii and the 21 day cruise. Drinks packages, port of call touring, insurance and spending money are not included. We require a non refundable $300 per person deposit to secure your cabin.
If you want an Oceanview or Internal cabin, we can quote you for this, but it may be that they are actually more expensive than the group price for the Balconies that we have secured, depending on what "specials" are available at the time that you inquire.
There will be line dance classes each "sea day", but it is not really a line dance cruise as such, so non dancers are easily accommodated and very welcome. Interstate and even overseas dancers/friends can join us as well should they wish to.
We have not as yet determined who we will be flying with, or where in Hawaii we will stay, as flight schedules are not available this far in advance. That is why we are leaving the day of departure a bit flexible to accommodate whatever options are available at the time.
If you want an itinerary, either ask your instructor or contact the office.
Social Media and Advertising
The article in the Lifestyle Magazine pull out of the Sunday Mail on 25th August was well received and generated quite a few inquiries which was fabulous. Fortunately they did not pursue the country image that most people assume. It does seem odd however that the photographer took literally thousands of photos and only used the one fairly bland shot. Oh well, so be it, it had the desired effect. Thanks to those that were interviewed and contributed to the article.
We have a Facebook page, and would appreciate any of you that are on Facebook to "like" and "share" our page, to maximise our exposure. This should help to continue to build the classes up so they can continue into the foreseeable future.
We have always found that "word of mouth" is still the best advertising we can get, in order to break the "Yee Haa" preconceptions that the uninitiated seem to have about our wonderful past-time. So spread the word.
Future Overseas Travel Opportunities
Liz and I are always considering where next to focus our travel bug. We have a number of possible trips we would like to do in the next few years. Which ones we will offer depend on economic issues such as currency fluctuations and world economy issues and on stability issues such as terrorism and political turbulence. If you have an interest in joining us, or a preference in one or more of these, please let us know.
Egypt / Jordan / Turkey - This would include a Nile Cruise and the Giza Pyramids, a visit to the ancient city of Petra (Indiana Jones) and a visit to Gallipoli, among other things. We are waiting on Egypt to become a little more stable/safe.
European River Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam (or reverse), including a visit to Paris. The Aussie dollar needs to improve against the Euro to make this economical.
Canadian Rockies and Alaska Cruise - Including the scenic railway through the Rockies. This is expensive, so we need to wait for the Aussie dollar to be much better before considering it.
African Safari through Kenya and Rwanda - Including a visit to the mountain Gorillas. We would have to find a "glam" accommodation option for this to happen, and enough interested people to arrange our own safari. We have already been to the Victoria Falls, so this would not be part of the package (it is too far south from the destination). We might attempt to go via Reunion Island so we can visit the volcanoes.
If you have any other suggestions, Liz and I are more than happy to have a chat about them.