Dance fever -- From Billy Ray Cyrus to Chris LeDoux, country stars make line dancing popular
Is country dance fever on the rise? A few down-home types appear to be banking on it — dancer Melanie Greenwood, for one, who choreographed the promotional video for Billy Ray Cyrus’ hit ”Achy Breaky Heart.” She’s currently fanning the flames with a new instructional video, Hot Country Dancin’ Vol. 2, that aims to teach the country lambada (”a dance you do with someone you don’t mind being close to,” says vid director Marian George), the Four Star Boogie, and the Stretchin’ Denim (”The name really does tell what it is,” says George). The tape also includes a flashier version of Greenwood’s original Achy Breaky — which can be danced, assures George, to Mary-Chapin Carpenter’s ”I Feel Lucky” and a lot of other pop songs besides the Cyrus hit.
Mercury Records was one of the first to promote a country album (Cyrus’) with a video featuring a partnerless line dance, à la the hustle. Now other labels are ”jumping on the bandwagon,” says Kathy Repola, a dance instructor at the Grizzly Rose, Denver’s biggest country nightclub. And one of the new entries, the video for Chris LeDoux’s LeDoux Shuffle, danced to his new single, ”Cadillac Ranch” (on Liberty Records), employs a lot of cha-cha-type stepping, very unlike the Achy Breaky. But at the Grizzly Rose, the bloom is still on Achy Breaky. As Repola says, ”You’d have to be dead not to move to it.”