Joy Magazine

Boot scootin' at the Rocky-Tonk

Dan Lippke, front left and wearing a ballcap, and Brittany Atchley, center, lead a line-dancing class at Rocky Tonk Bar & Grill.Photos by Andy Atkinson

Heart" was choreographed and went viral on dance floors worldwide.

Relatively few songs fill the dance card at most line-dancing venues. Favorites include "Boot Scootin' Boogie," "Watermelon Crawl" and "Tush Push." Each dance routine consists of about 40 steps repeated over and over. Each 40-count ends with the rows of dancers facing a quarter turn to the left of their starting direction. The steps are repeated until the song ends.

Learn more

For information about line dancing at The Rocky-Tonk, see or check out line-dancing pictures on their Facebook fan site.

To get a head start on learning the moves, watch a lesson on the classic dance "Boot Scootin' Boogie" at or on the "Watermelon Crawl" at

Matthew Torassa, 27, a recent transplant from Salem, teaches line dancing at The Rocky-Tonk. Though he's been line dancing for only three years, it's become his passion. He happened upon it by accident in college when he signed up for a dance class to fulfill his physical-education requirement.

"In the class, I made a few friends, and we decided we wanted to go out and do more dancing," recalls Torassa. "The country bar was the only place to do it."

He sees a pent-up demand for line dancing in the Rogue Valley — 10 years after the last line-dancing venue closed its doors.

"A lot of people are getting back into it," he says. "And people who have never done it or seen it before are getting into it."

For many younger women, line dancing represents a way to express themselves through dance in a safe environment, says Kelly Singleton, an Eagle Point High School teacher who arrived with several girlfriends.

"We like dancing, and we're all pretty young," explains Singleton. "But we go to a normal dance club, and it's like a meat market, you know. This is something you can do yourself, and you don't have to have a partner — and it's fun."

There's no single demographic or even age range that defines the dancers on this night.

Phoenix resident Pam Barnes is here with other members of Southern Oregon Singles, a local social club with members mostly older than 40.

"You start learning different steps, and then it's just a matter of putting the steps together, so it does get easier," says Barnes. "There's teenagers to people in their 70s. Where else do you go in a bar where you see such an age range of people all out there dancing together?

"I would do it every night if they offered it."

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