It's almost time to dust off your boots and get ready to kick up your heels because Hoedowns For Country Towns is coming to Bundaberg.
Founded by Queensland friends Kate Strong and Claire Harris, Hoedowns For Country Towns (HFCT) is a 20,000km trip around Australia from March til December this year, teaching line dancing in rural communities and putting smiles on dials of rural people.
The pair will be teaching at already established country events, as well as running their own classes in town halls, shearing sheds, barns, pubs, and on red dirt.
The Bundaberg event is at the Moore Park Beach Community Hall on Tuesday March 15, for a 7pm to 9pm line dancing class.
With the main aim of HFCT being to encourage newbies onto the dance floor, the class is aimed mainly at beginners, however more experienced dancers are also welcome to attend.
The class is $10 per person, payable via cash or eftpos at the door.
“People are often tentative to give line dancing a go, but nine times out of ten, they've already done it -the Nutbush is a line dance after all, and plenty of line dances are far easier than that,” Claire said.
“It doesn't take long to realise that no one really minds, or notices, if you mess up a step.
“Fun is the number one priority, and as long as people are laughing, smiling and having a good time, that's all that matters to us.
“We are hoping to see many people come out to the Bundaberg class to give line dancing a try.”
Hoedowns for Country Towns raises funds for rural charities
HFCT itself is not a charity, although the entire venture is not-for profit, with all funds raised above bare minimal running costs to be donated to rural charities.
The venture is supporting seven charities, one for each state/territory the duo are travelling through.
The Qld charity of choice is Aussie Helpers, which works to help farmers stay on the land when times are tough.
Aussie Helpers are currently on the ground working hard to help those impacted by the devastating floods.
“The trip is about spreading the love of line dancing, but it's also very much about the amazing and life-changing work of these wonderful organisations we feel privileged to be supporting,” Kate said.
“Each charity has its own focus, with a focus on helping rural people being a common denominator.”
The tour kicked off with a launch party in Toowoomba on Saturday March 5, where the girls met and first learnt to dance.
The event was well-attended by about 95 people who were excited to be giving
bootscooting a go – many for the first time. $4000 was raised in an auction on the night.
After a few events on the Sunshine Coast, the pair are headed north to Bundaberg, before moving onwards to Rockhampton, Stanwell, Emerald, Ilfracombe, Longreach, and down to Birdsville where they will be attending the races in mid-April.
Travelling in roughly an anticlockwise route around the country, the venture will finish up back in South East Queensland by Christmas.
“Our route is planned to the point that there are certain already established events we want to attend, COVID-19 permitting, and in between that we're hoping to take many detours to any towns that want us to visit,” Claire said.
The pair are welcoming donations, which can be made directly through their website.
“Everything above running costs is being donated to charity, so the more we ourselves are supported, the more we'll be able to donate,” Claire said.
“If you can help out in any way, no matter how big or small, it will be much appreciated.
“Whether that's through a donation or through sponsorship, the more we can raise, the more successful this will all be.”
For further details, and to donate, visit www.hoedownsforcountrytowns.com