‘You get better and better’

Line dancing featured at agricultural center barn

CHRISTINE HARKINSON/The Sun: The Burlington County Parks System’s community programs include country line dancing led by instructor Jeremy Duncan.

The community came out for country line dancing with instructor Jeremy Duncan at the Burlington County Agricultural Center barn on Aug. 25.

“I’ve been dancing for a while now, about 15 years, and it was an opportunity to start teaching and so I did,” Duncan said. “Heather (Scotto, program coordinator of special events for the Burlington County Parks System) reached out to me in 2019, and we did it at the fairgrounds … But it’s at night and it’s been getting cold out there. So we decided to check it out here (agricultural center barn) and see if we get the same type of crowd.”

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Now in its fourth year, country line dancing is a six-week session and is one of the county parks’ many health and fitness programs.

“ … It’s been very successful, so we wanted to try to do it in the afternoon and we brought it to the agricultural center here,” Scotto said.

Dances that Duncan teaches include Soaring Skies, Back on Texas Time and Gives Me Shivers.

“Pretty much any time a song comes on the radio, people make a line dance for it, and then you try to see if people like it,” Duncan said. “If they don’t, they don’t, if they do, they do.”

Duncan shared the challenge of teaching, but also noted how people are always willing to learn.

“ … There’s so many line dances now because of YouTube,” he said. “Everyone thinks they’re a choreographer. Every time a new song comes out, you have to sift through it, or wait and see if one becomes popular, because that’s the worst, teaching a dance and then another dance is popular. You just wasted all your time learning it and teaching it.”

“ … You just have to keep doing it,” Duncan added. “A lot of people come one time, and they want to be an expert … People that try more, they get better faster … You just (need) practice. Like everything, you just do it over and over again, and you get better and better.”

Scotto noted what she appreciates about the programs offered by the county.

“ … It’s just really great that Burlington County Parks and Burlington County in general supports all of our programs, and it’s really for the public to be familiar with our parks and to really enjoy them,” she said. “It’s in everybody’s community.”

“A lot of people don’t know all these parks,” Scotto added, “and it’s really nice that you have the opportunity to go to different parks and there’s different activities in each one of them.”

Duncan’s next class at the barn will be on Nov. 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. Visit https://www.co.burlington.nj.us/235/Parks.

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