A group of local line dancers have the world at their boots.
Stephanie Perry, Anna-Lee Hodalj, Leanne Perry and Elise O'Connor all recently gained qualifications for the World Dance Masters to be held in Blackpool, United Kingdom in August.
The members of JD Dance B.A. Performance Team took part in the Australasian Line Dance Championships and the Australian Qualifiers for the World Dance Masters, also known as Mayworth, in Tamworth this month and danced their way into world titles.
However, due to time constraints, the dancers may not be able to take part in the world masters but Ms O'Connor said it was an honour to be selected for such a prestigious event.
“There is potential to go in the future because they hold the event every year,” Ms O'Connor said.
Cathy Lucas also attended the Tamworth event but could only participate in one dance due to an ankle injury.
Over 300 people took part in the world qualifiers in Tamworth.
“It (Mayworth) was a pretty big event,’ Ms O'Connor said.
“For the world qualifiers we all danced individually but we did go as a team because there were other events for teams, duos and trios.”
The dancers achieved great results during the Tamworth event.
Stephanie was third in the 29 and Under Standard Solo in the Australasian Line Dance Championships and
third overall in Australian Masters Novice Young Adult Division Solo.
Anna-Lee was fourth in the 29 and Under Standard Solo in the Australasian Line Dance Championships and
second overall in Australian Masters Novice Young Adult Division Solo.
Leanne got a Silver Grading in Australian Masters Newcomer Open Division Solo, while Elise got a Silver Grading in Australian Masters Novice Open Division Solo.
The dancers are experienced and have been to the Australian Line Dancing Championship, NSW Open Line Dancing championships and various regional competitions.
“However, we have not been to the world qualifiers yet,” Ms O'Connor said.
Blackpool also stages the world ballroom championships.
The group was supported at the event by their ‘dance mum’ Jill Hardy.
Ms O'Connor said line dancing was still a popular activity.
“It’s still popular but probably has changed a bit over the years. Possibly there an older demographic more inclined to line dance because they might have the extra time and they like to get out and do some socialising and exercising,” she said.
Line dancing is for people of all ages and Ms O’Connor said the Mayworth event was all about encouraging young people to take part in the activity.
“There was a lot of young people at the Mayworth event in troupes, doing solos, duos and trios as well,” she said.
Ms O'Connor has been line dancing for six years and loves the music and the movement.
“Dance is really good for flexibility, movement strength and improving memory,” Ms O'Connor said.
“There is a lot of talk that it (dance) is one of the best things for people to do to reduce the risk of dementia, Alzheimer's and things like that.”
She said they also have heaps of fun.
Ms O’Connor said anyone could try line dancing.
“It’s just about having a willingness to have a go,” she said
She added it was important to bring along a sense of humour.