Meet Kelvin Dale
I’m Kelvin Dale, the primary instructor and owner of the Red Hot & Country Line Dancers. We were formed over 26 years and are based in western Sydney, Australia
I started line dancing over 28 years ago (you’d think I’d be good by now), under the expert instruction of the late Lance Pritchard. I came to line dancing through the country music side of things as a fan of the genre.
I was first introduced to line dancing when I was celebrating a tennis end of competition function at the Vinegar Hill Woolshed at a bush dancing night. A.L.D. (a Sydney based group) were demonstrating[kd1] and teaching a couple of dances so we got up and had a go. I really enjoyed the music and asked who the artists were. They told me it was Lee Kernaghan and Garth Brooks. I was hooked. I bought my first pair of boots and booked a ticket for the next Lee Kernaghan concert, the very next weekend at St Marys Leagues Club. My school teacher colleagues and friends thought I was having a mid-life crisis!
As a Primary trained school teacher, I started teaching in my school hall under the banner of Sydney Line Dancers but had a falling out with Lance (didn’t most people at one time or another) and started out on my own with the support of Samantha Kenny (nee Dixon), DJ John and his wife, Rita.
I was involved in community radio at different times playing either country music or line dancing music. One program was on AIR FM in Penrith with Ron Burton where I got a real love and knowledge of country music and met many of the local and international artists. Another program was on 2GLF FM in Liverpool as a guest of Trevor Chandler where I would update the latest line dancing songs and review new dances. I was then involved with West Sydney’s COOL COUNTRY RADIO supporting country artists in between brackets.
Samantha and I co-choreographed a number of popular and award winning dances along with other dancers from our club and other clubs as well. These include – The Ride, Dig-a-Jig, Deuce Coupe, Austin, Telluride, The Best Man, Hillbilly Nation.
Kathryn, another student/instructor, and I have choreographed a number of dances together including Planet Country, Margadaiquiri, Ready to Roll and Never Goes Away and one of our dances, “Mountain Girl”, received a gold medal in Tamworth in the early intermediate section.
Red Hot has had success at the competition level with a number of dancers being awarded gold at both the state and national level.
I’ve been a member of the Line Dance Association of Australia (LDAA) since its inception and support the idea of an association that supports our sport/pastime in any way it can. In the early days it helped with insurances and licences that were and are important to the professionalism of our dance form. I have gone on to be elated President of this association that continues to run one of the longest running line dance competitions in the world, the ALDC. I used to subscribe to many of the magazines that involved line dancing as a way to keep informed as I believe the better informed I am, the better instructor I’ll be.
For the past 20 years or so I’ve been the DJ or Co-DJ of the popular socials at the Tamworth Tennis Club during Country Music Week and more recently at Tamworth HS. A great many popular dances have had their start on the floor at the TTC and the socials have been frequented by the who’s who of Australian and International choreographers and instructors. A great many country artists have also visited the venue including, Adam Brand, Carter & Carter and The Borderers to name a few.
Having some decent gear, most of the music and the gift of the gab, I’ve often been used to DJ many events around the country. I’ve been the DJ for other club’s birthdays, many competitions (including the Australian Line Dance Championships, The Winter Wipeout, The Big One and Mayworth), socials, workshops and demonstrations. I’ve even been the DJ at some of the dancers/instructors 21st’s and weddings. I’ve had the pleasure of conducting workshops in NSW, Queensland and Victoria and judged at competitions in these states as well. I was recently the second recipient of the Joe McManamon Memorial Award for Services to Line Dancing in Australia.
My relationships with many of the leading instructors/choreographers have been highly valued and many of them have become close friends. This has seen me work closely with many of them at socials, competitions and workshops. Local Tamworth instructor and a great ambassador for line dancing, Chris Watson, has been a long-time friend and through him I’ve had the pleasure of workshopping and DJing on cruises throughout the South Pacific & New Zealand for a number of years.
As a group, Red Hot & Country have raised thousands of dollars for charity, demonstrated at hundreds of events and functions across the state and supported as many socials, fundraisers and competitions as time will allow. As the person behind the vision of the NSW Line Dance Ball, I’ve wanted as many line dancers to meet at the one venue to share our love of this dance style and with the support of the committees, past and present, this has come into being. The raising of funds for a worthwhile cause like Ronald McDonald House, Westmead is just a bonus. We still compete, demonstrate and raise money for charities on a regular basis and will continue to do so until our feet wear out!
Currently RED HOT & COUNTRY holds classes from beginners to intermediate level weekly and open socials monthly.
Enjoy the Ride show playlist on Mixcloud
A selection of Kelvin´s photos