Line Dancers from Germany
and Austria visit Northern Cyprus
By Ralph Kratzer
I have known Steve and Denise Bisson now for several years. Both are avid Line Dancers and founded in 2009 the Phoenix Line Dance Club in Northern Cyprus. They give weekly training sessions for beginners as well as advanced dancers. (To remember an interview I made with this interesting couple in 2013 – click here!)
I personally could not, due to lack of time, be persuaded to become a Line Dancer, but always like to be invited by Steve and Denise to special events of their club, because this kind of dance looks simply fantastic when performed by experienced dancers.
So I said spontaneously „yes“, when Steve invited me at the beginning of November to take part at a Line Dance event in the Salamis Bay Hotel near Famagusta, to which participants from all over Germany and even from Austria were expected.
My girlfriend and I therefore made our way from Kyrenia southbound last weekend and took the opportunity to not only attend to the announced dance party but also to enjoy the amenities of the well-known hotel for one night.
54 dancers from Berlin, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Buchholz and Vienna traveled to North Cyprus and stayed for a week’s holiday with sunbathing, sight seeing and not least Line Dance workshops. For most of them it was the first time that they visited the northern part of the island, but I was assured that all participants were thrilled.
The trip was organized by Rita and Rene Hepp from Buchholz in Northern Germany. The two have a special relationship with Northern Cyprus, because they had lived here for 11 years, a time “they never will regret” in their own words. During their time on the island they also got in contact with Steve and Denise, took part in their Line Dance courses and ultimately became friends.
Therefore, Rita and Rene, who still come for longer holidays from time to time, decided to offer the opportunity of a relaxing stay with like-minded Line Dance friends and were ultimately surprised how many other dance enthusiasts accepted their offer that they had spread via Internet.
On the agenda stood, besides lounging on the beach or by the swimming pool of the hotel, excursions to the ancient ruins of Salamis, to the beautiful old town of Famagusta and of course to the Karpaz Peninsula, for me personally one of the last natural paradises in Europe.
And there was dancing of course. After the hotel management of Salamis Bay had persuaded the group to spontaneous dance performances in front of the rest of the guests the day before, the special Line Dance party took place on last Saturday in the neighboring Koca Reis Hotel, as a highlight of the trip, so to speak.
There was partying and dancing in high spirits until after midnight.
I am convinced that some of the participants of the trip already have in mind to put the beautiful Northern Cyprus back on their travel list.
P.S. For all readers who have never heard of Line Dance, here is a brief explanation, found on Wikipedia:
A Line Dance is a choreographed dance with a repeated sequence of steps in which a group of people dance in one or more lines or rows without regard for the gender of the individuals, all facing the same direction, and executing the steps at the same time. Line Dancers are not in physical contact with each other.
Although line dancing is associated with country-western music and dance, it has similarities to folk dancing. Many folk dances are danced in unison with dancers arranged in one or more rows and often connected with the dancers next to them; while these rows are described as “lines,” they may curve, corner, or otherwise be non-linear in the geometric sense. The Balkan countries, among others, have a rich tradition of line dance surviving to the present.
The absence of a physical connection between dancers is, however, a distinguishing feature of Country Western Line Dance. Line Dances have accompanied many popular music styles since the early 1970’s including pop, swing, rock and roll, disco, Latin (Salsa Suelta), and Jazz.
You still have questions? If interested in learning or practising Line Dance in North Cyprus, contact Steve and Denise Bisson under firstname.lastname@example.org or 0533 876 3410.