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Soul line dancing in Harlem

March 12, 2013 12:13:48 PM PDT
Forget country line-dancing. Forget the electric slide. This is a whole new look at line-dancing with a more soulful approach.

The class is free and a lot of fun.

"Once you get bitten, that's it," instructor Anita Mullin said. "You become a line dance junkie. You want to do it more and more and more."

A sentiment shared by everyone here at the Joseph P. Kennedy center. What's the secret to getting the steps down?

"The rhythm, beat, you've got to say it in your mind. Feel it in your soul," Soul Line dancer Robert Perry said.

When I spotted Perry, the 68 year old was busy fluttering around the room. I can see why what's happening here is contagious, soul line dancing, popular not only here in Harlem, but all over the country.

It involves following a carefully choreographed sequence of steps, think electric slide, only tougher.

The class kicked off in January. Roughly 60 enthusiasts get together for two hours with Anita leading the way to learn the latest moves.

"It's a certain amount of comradery. It's like 'Oh yeah, help me with that step.' So yeah, it's a lot of fun," she said.

And good exercise, part of the mission of catholic charities, which runs this center.

"Helping isn't just helping when you're in need, helping is also help you be happy, help you be fun, help you stay healthy," director Rodney Beckford said.

For more information, contact the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr Memorial Community Center at 212 862-5401. The class is every Tuesday evening at 6:30.

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