Kicking up their Heels

Indiana Boots & Jeans
make the rounds at area festivals

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

(Sept. 2002) – The Indiana Boots and Jeans dance troupe was organized 12 years ago when line dancing began gaining popularity.
“I taught clogging at the time, but took one night to do line dancing,” said troupe creator June Ritchie of Hanover, Ind.
Under her guidance, the group has grown to average 33 participants. A veteran in the field of dance, Ritchie taught clogging 32 years ago at her own Dance Barn in Scottsburg, Ind.

Boots and Jeans

Indiana Boots & Jeans performs

The troupe will be a new addition to the annual Two Rivers Tobacco Festival, held Sept. 12-14 on the courthouse square in downtown Carrollton. Those eager to perfect their line dancing technique won’t want to miss the troupe’s performance from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 13.
Onlookers will learn the ropes of line dancing by watching this troupe as they perform moves, such as the scoot, brush, heel tap, step, kick and triple step.
Ritchie not only teaches the fundamentals of certain dance genres, she also involves her troupes in fun ways to perform. Ritchie said she took her line dance troupe to Club Dance in Knoxville, Tenn., and has taken cloggers to Disney World and Australia.
Troupe member Carolyn Mitchell agrees with Ritchie that line dancing is “good cardiovascular exercise.” In fact, after Ritchie underwent knee replacement surgery, doctors urged her to begin dancing again as soon as possible.
“It’s the best exercise you can get,” she said.
Ritchie said line dancing is so easy to learn that most people confidently end their first session feeling that they did good for the first night. She said that after learning the basic steps, “You fall into the other ones.”
There is no age limit to her troupe, which meets from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Tuesday at the Hanover Community Building.
The Two Rivers Tobacco Festival pays homage to the farmers and their harvests. Carroll County was at one time the third largest burley tobacco market in the world.
Festival organizer Daisy Hughes said this three-day event is funded “mostly through donations from business merchants and industries.” Hughes is part of the 12-member Two Rivers Festival committee.
The additional support of financial backers in the tobacco industry, such as Philip Morris and R. J. Reynolds, is enabling the festival to continue since Carrollton’s Main Street Program no longer sponsors it.
Hughes said there is no overall theme this year for Saturday’s 1 p.m. parade, but Heather French Henry, wife of Lieutenant Gov. Steve Henry and a FOX 41 morning personality, has been asked to preside as this year’s master of ceremonies. All three days will provide flea market, food and craft booths, plus entertainment.
Slated to appear on Thursday are Young Rockers; on Friday Steve Pratt and Oakley Avenue; and on Saturday Young Country.
All proceeds from this event are given back to the community in different ways, such as the distribution of food baskets at Christmas.

• The Boots and Jeans troupe will also perform this month at the Chelsea Jubilee (Sept. 7) and Canaan Fall Festival (Sept. 14). For information, call Ritchie at (812) 866-4785. For information on the Two Rivers Tobacco Festival call (502) 732-8568.

Back to September 2002 Articles.



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