JOHNSTOWN – County Liners, a dance group founded by Tara Howland two years ago, is holding their monthly dance party this Saturday, April 15. The theme is ‘Puddle Stompin’,’ a celebration of the spring season finally being underway.
The party will be held at Johnstown Moose Lodge, where Howland is a member and holds recurring weekly classes. The party is free and open to the public. It begins at 7 p.m..
“The monthly dance parties are really two fold. Students can come to show off their skills, I call it their recital,” Howland said. “The second reason is it’s free to the public, so anyone who’s hesitant can get a taste.”
The parties are family friendly, with attendees ranging from young children to people in their 70s or 80s. The County Liners usually see over 100 people at these dance parties.
“It’s really word of mouth,” Howland said.
Howland offers two different cards to her students. One, a black card allows students to bring a friend to a class free of charge. There is also a white card, which serves as a punch card. When a student brings in a friends dn turns in the black card, they get an extra stamp on their punch card. This referral system has helped County Liners see substantial growth in the short time they’ve been around. The classes cost $5-$10 and discounts are available for Moose Lodge members.
The night always begins with Howland going over some beginner’s moves to help any novices get started. Afterwards Howland splits the floor, allowing students to practice the skills they’ve been honing while Howland continues to work with the newcomers.
Howland began dancing seven years ago when she was living in Albany. Two years ago, she moved to Broadalbin and noticed a lack of dancing groups in the area, so she started her own. County Liners celebrates its second birthday this May.
She hopes to expand the group, particularly farther west. There isn’t a shortage of dance activities in Albany, Schenectady or Saratoga, so Howland wants to include communities with less options.
“The growth has been tremendous,” Howland said. “I hope as people get over the initial anxiety they realize how much joy is in it.”
Contact reporter Ameara Ditsche at [email protected], keep up with her on Twitter @amearaisawriter.