Autumn Cunningham | June 2, 2022

Linda Scott has been line-dancing for over 35 years and has been teaching for the past eight. She loves seeing the first time people catch on to a dance and them enjoying it as much as she does. It was a pleasure hearing how she got started, and the enthusiasm in her voice during our conversation.

LOCAL 219: Hi Linda! Was it hobbies circumstances or your childhood that led you to being in this role?

LINDA SCOTT: Probably hobbies. I love to dance. As soon as I turned 21, I started dancing. Just freestyle dancing, and probably was 28 when I started line dancing. I went out to DC’s one night just to check it out. They were line dancing, and I met a couple people, that I’m actually still dancing with, and it just took off from there. I had to stop a couple times when I was pregnant then got back into it.

I never thought I would be a teacher. I just went and did lessons. I did a lot of beginner dances because at the Ranch they always did beginners. So, I would go on Wednesday nights and just sort of help people that didn’t catch on as quickly. I would stand next to them and talk them through it.

L219: Was DC’s also called the Ranch?

LS: Nope. There was a roller rink in Crown Point that they made into a dance floor. It was huge. It was awesome. There would be hundreds of people. It was always packed. We would dance Friday and Saturday nights. Then they had lessons throughout the week. That went under so I was at a few different places after that.

L219: When did you start instructing?

LS: I’ve been dancing for 35-40 years, but I didn’t start instructing until about seven or eight years ago.

L219: Do you love it?

LS: I do! As a kid I was really, really shy. So, this is like a 100% turnaround for me, but I do, I really enjoy it.

L219: What gets you out of bed in the morning, or what gets you excited for the day?

LS: My alarm clock. Ha! No, what gets me out of bed in the morning is to know that I have to get up and go to work, which is a good thing; I like working. I’m definitely not a morning person.

L219: Who has had the biggest influence in your life?

LS: I would probably say my mom. She’s always been there for me. She’s always been a God-fearing woman. She took us to church, kept us on the straight narrow. She has just always been my rock.

L219: I think it’s funny that even though we get older we watch our parents become older and we begin to see their weaknesses, which can be kind of scary, but we still see them as our parents and as our stability. What has been one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned while teaching line dancing?

LS: To take it slow because not everybody catches on the same as everybody else, and like I said, I love to see it when somebody finally goes, “I got it, I got it!”

The other lessons is that I have to teach myself. People don’t understand that. You just don’t walk out onto a dance floor, knowing it, you know. You have to also do your homework. You have to look for dances that people are gonna like. I teach myself so that I can teach others, and spread my passion for it.

L219: You’ve touched on this a bit, but what do you enjoy most about being a dance instructor?

LS: I love seeing the people’s faces when they catch on to a dance. One thing about line-dancing is some people will come one night and then never come again because they say it’s too hard, but the thing is, if you keep coming back, it gets easier and easier.

So, if you did a six week course, even if it was with another instructor, commit yourself to six weeks so that way you could learn and see if you really like it. In one night you’re not going to know, because you’re gonna walk out of there saying it’s just too hard.

L219: I think that’s any hobby. You need to commit, and really give a new activity a chance for your mind and body to experience it fully.

LS: For me dancing takes me into my own little world. I don’t dance to impress. I dance for myself. I do enjoy helping others that I meet. I’m constantly jibbering all the way through, but dance brings me back to my center, to my being, where I can relax.

L219: I think it’s important that everybody finds a hobby that brings them joy and passion. Sometimes that’s even a part-time job.

LS: I would dance every night of the week if my body would allow me to.

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