- Associated Press - Saturday, June 24, 2017

WALTON, Ind. (AP) - Clutching her card of choreography, Vickie Mechling recited dance moves as the students lined up behind her stepped, kicked, clapped and swayed to the beat of the boombox.

The Logansport resident has been teaching line dancing in the gymnasium at Walton Christian Church for about three years. About 10 students attend regularly for what several described as a good source of exercise and fun.

Mechling’s introduction to dance began with tap dancing at age 5 while growing up in central Illinois.

“I like to dance,” she said before class began on June 9. “We go to Florida in the winter now and everywhere you go, they dance. In our little community building, we have line dancing twice a week, so I go over there and when I come back here, then I teach what I’ve learned in Florida.”

The activity benefits physical and mental health, Mechling said.

Celia Jones and Patti Raderstorf, both of Walton, have been attending the class for about the past two years and keep it running when Mechling is in Florida.

Raderstorf recalled how she invited Jones to the dance class while exercising together at the local library.

“And I said I always wanted to line dance,” Jones added. “I always wanted to learn and I guess I just didn’t know where to go.”

Raderstorf seconded Mechling’s views on dancing’s benefits.

“It’s great exercise,” Raderstorf said. “That’s what I want is exercise.”

Mechling hopes others who are interested will give it a go too and not worry if they don’t master it right away.

“Just come out and try it,” she said. “You’re not going to pick it up the first couple of times… We have a lot of fun.”

Jones agreed.

“There’s no judgement,” she said. “If you mess up, everybody’s messing up sometime, just have fun.”

The free class meets 10-11 a.m. Fridays at Walton Christian Church, 103 Bishop St., Walton.

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Source: (Logansport) Pharos-Tribune, https://bit.ly/2sPd5CF

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Information from: Pharos-Tribune, https://www.pharostribune.com

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