On a Saturday night in Naperville Illinois, over a hundred middle age partygoers, mostly African American women, are arriving at Navarros, a restaurant famous for their Italian cuisine and private parties. Their mission. To hit the dance floor and to line dance all night long.
"I like it because the music is soulful and I really don't need my husband with me to get my groove on," a young lady explains, while standing in line. Her friend besides her says, "my doctor told me I had type 2 diabetes because of a lack of exercise and I told myself 'I'm dancing my way back to health.'"
Line dance instructor Belynda Head has heard similar stories many times from her students. As the party promoter for this Saturday's event, she also wears the title of host and co-producer of Line Dance Party!, a 30 minute television special produced as a pilot for a weekly series.
"This show would be great for Chicago," says Belynda, as she preps her assistant for the rush of patrons lining up to submit admission tickets, "line dance crews travel as far as Indiana and Wisconsin to get a good line dance party going."
Don DVIDEO, an Emmy award winning video-film editor at DVIDEO 79 Productions and producer of Line Dance Party! agrees. "A lot of the dance crews attend Belynda's parties and we felt that if we incorporate her classes and the latest dances, Line Dance Party! would make great television."
Some of Head's line dance students are entrepreneurs, business owners and corporate leaders. When they heard that Belynda and her Lines 'N Motion dance crew was ready for prime-time TV, they were excited to show their support.
"I believe in this instructor," expresses Chef Pam of Riley Bell Soul Food Cuisine. "You're not learning just line dances but also her dance style teaches you different techniques for improving a self care in daily life."
"I know that it will be a show that people will DVR and watch over and over to get the steps down," exclaims Loleta Connor, a broker for 1Stop4Homes, who represents homes and investment properties. "I would hope that viewers would see our ad and call us for service."
Head says that all of the sponsors were happy to participate in something new, cool and unique, especially since their target market was the same. "Vernell Bradley, owner of NTRENDZ Boutique, had great success in selling her women fashion accessories as a vendor at many of my parties," exclaims Head, "Line Dance Party! was perfect for her business's promotional campaign."
Chef Tobaris Doss is owner of Fusion Mobile Restaurant that caters gourmet sandwiches and appetizers throughout the western suburbs. Head says friends like Doss jumped on board quickly as a sponsor.
Michael Clay of MCTV Productions is friends with both Head and DVIDEO, and wanted to be part of the promotional campaign. Author Carl B. Manson, CEO of Exsolint Publishers, was delighted to become a sponsor, and knew this would be a great opportunity to promote his new eBook series on Amazon.com to his target audience. "A lot of my readers are women who love line dancing!"
Network and cable television has always dedicated the fall season to introduce new TV shows for their program schedule. DVIDEO and Head has joined the surge in the pilot season frenzy, in hopes that their dance program can attract the interest of broadcasters like Oprah's OWN or Magic Johnson's Aspire TV.
"Line dancing is not going anywhere," expesses Belynda in her on-camera interview featured in Line Dance Party!. "You don't need a partner to get on the dance floor. The music is R&B soul and hip-hop, and you're among friends and people who like line dancing too. So its fun at the parties, and Line Dance Party! is a fun TV show."
Line Dance Party! will air its pilot program on WJYS-TV, October 24, Thursday at 10 pm. Visit linesnmotion.com for information on Belynda Head's line dance classes, sponsorship and future broadcast dates.