KILLEEN, Texas —
Line dancing, we've all seen it before. It is when a group of dancers stand side-by-side in one or more lines as they perform a series of dance moves. For one group of Central Texans, it means so much more, as they are taking on the physical and mental benefits of dancing one two step at a time.
They say dancing is good for the soul. For Lindy Fairchild, it is also good for the mind and the body.
"We are here fighting off lots of things. We are battling anxiety, depression, PTSD. We come in here as a group and we work through those things as a family," Fairchild said.
A family who twirled into each other’s lives during the pandemic, she said.
Unity Line Dancing group meets four times a week at Greater Vision Community Church in Killeen. The group consists of mostly those who are 40 and up and retirees.
“I started line dancing about 10 years ago and it was fun. It keeps your mind occupied, and you lose weight,” said Mariam Rodriguez, the founder of Unity Line Dancing.
Back in 2020, Rodriguez wanted to find a way to continue to work out after the gyms closed.
"I went to the park by myself and started dancing like a crazy person,” said Rodriguez. “People walking around the track asked if they could join me. I said sure, keep your distance, but you can join me."
In the last two years, Unity Line Dancing have grown with more than 20 members from all different backgrounds. They perform at city events across Central Texas while building bonds with each other.
"Because we have different people of different ethnicities here, we can play country one day, we can play R&B one day, we can play Pop," said Unity Line Dancing member Yira Barron. “So, we try to touch on everything. What it means to this class is a sense of unity, hence the name Unity Line Dancers."
The group learns their moves from YouTube tutorials, then practices them at the gym.
According to member Otis Thompson, you don't have to be the best dancer. Otis joined the group a month ago and is one of only two men on the team.
"It is not intimidating at all,” said Thompson. “I’m glad Tyrone came because I was the only dude for about three weeks and then he came so it is just him and I right now. We are trying to get more."
More to boogie into a lifestyle of fitness, family, and most of all, fun.
"Unity line dancing is so much more than just dance,” said Fairchild. “We are a ministry. We minister to each other. We pray for each other. We pray with each other. We encourage each other. We lift each other up. We are so much more than simply a dance group."
Unity Line Dancing will have a perform on Nov. 5 at the Natural Hair Expo at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.