Dance with county’s stars Monday nights at CUMC

Thousands of Shelby Countians tune into ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” each week, but what they may not know is some of our local celebrities are doing some dancing of their own—and everyone can join in.

Dr. Charles Thornburg, D.V.M., teaches a dance class every Monday night at 6:30 at Columbiana United Methodist Church where such local celebrities as former superintendent Evan Major and High School Coordinator Larry Headrick come to swing, spin and triple step until their feet get tired.

“It’s a great way for my wife and I to spend time together, be with friends, and laugh,” Headrick said.

Each Monday night, the class reviews their steps from the week before, and adds a new set of moves to the dance. Since each class builds on the previous one, first-time class members should come to the church’s multi-purpose room at 6 p.m. to get caught up.

For the next few weeks, the class will be focusing on slow dancing and East Coast Swing, which Thornburg calls “The granddaddy of them all.”

Thornburg said he thinks the class is important to teach today’s youth how to dance basic steps.

“They go to proms in their finery, eat, get in limos and go to the dance for five minutes and leave to go bowling because no one knows how to actually dance,” Thornburg said.

Cody Bearden, 15, said he comes to the class every week, but hasn’t used the moves on a girl, “yet.”

The class averages about 30 students each week who range in age from 15 – 65. It’s one of the rare places you can catch a 21-year-old man twirling a 60-year-old woman under his arm.

Thornburg said the other important element of the class is its potential to teach etiquette and manners.

“You see guys today escorting women and they just look limp. They’re not born with the knowledge of how to properly escort a lady; someone has to show them,” he said.

While Thornburg sees the class as an opportunity to improve the propriety of today’s youth, Carolyn Sockwell sees it as a chance for CUMC to prove that people can have fun at church.

“We’d like to get them in here and get them comfortable with the facilities,” Sockwell said. “Any way we can get them into church is important.”

Sockwell has actually seen improvement in her health, as she has lost 10 pounds since she started attending the class.

Anyone who wants to attend the class should wear comfortable clothes and leather-soled shoes that can slide on carpet.

Major said he will attend the class for the rest of the summer. “It’s something fun my wife and I can do together,” he said. “I’ve started the class so I’m gonna finish. I’ve got to graduate.”