The ballroom at the Sunnyvale Community Center was recently filled with more than 60 people dancing to upbeat music – led by longtime Los Altos resident Julia Wetzel, organizer of the annual Line Dance Social.
Wetzel’s students and dancers came from throughout the Bay Area and beyond, with some traveling as far as Sacramento to attend the event.
Most of the dancers seemed to know the choreography from the playlist of more than 50 songs, though Wetzel led a walkthrough for some of the dances. The participants’ skill levels ranged from beginner to advanced.
Dancers followed Wetzel or the teaching assistants who were strategically placed at four walls to help prod people’s memories if they didn’t recall the steps. When dancers turned to different walls, it helped to have an experienced participant lead so that the group remained consistent.
Wetzel prepared her students weeks before the social and offered a free review class of all the dances on the playlist. She also enlisted her volunteer teaching assistants to hold free review classes the week before the social.
Also a choreographer, Wetzel publishes her dances through a website (copperknob.co.uk) used by line dancers all over the world, as well as through her own YouTube Channel (Julia Wetzel Line Dance). Her dances have garnered millions of views on YouTube, and she even travels abroad to conduct line-dancing workshops.
She taught line dancing for years at Marti’s Dance Studio in Los Altos before moving her classes to the larger venue in Sunnyvale.
For a class schedule and registration fees, visit sites.google.com/view/julia-wetzel/classes.