The Pipeline Smokehouse & Bar in West Olive hosts weekly line dancing in its underground saloon. No longer serving food, the bar’s patrons instead sip drinks and watch the dancing that happens in the middle of the wooden venue. For beginners, I recommend you show up at 8 p.m. to watch a step-by-step demonstration.
“How we feeling?” Vivian Shetland yells out to the small group that had just learned the choreography to the song “Feel It Still” by musical group “Portugal. The Man.” After breaking down each dance segment, Shetland prompted the group to use hand gestures: “Good? Bad? Somewhere in between?” My response turned to a thumbs down once the song started playing at twice the practice speed.
After 9 p.m., the intro class ends and the DJ starts playing tracks with a heavy dose of country.
“More people come out during the winter.” Shetland shared. “I’ll teach two or three dances if I have a bigger crowd.”
As songs played through, people situated around the multiple wooden seating options would nod along, watch, and decide whether to jump in or not. Some know the dance routine while others are learning it on the spot.
Longtime dancers like Shetland can learn basic routines out on the floor. For less experienced dancers and more complicated dances, some practice time with YouTube is necessary. Shetland is an instructor at Pipeline Smokehouse & Bar and has been there for less than a year. As a regular, she was scouted from the line dancing crowd and asked to teach lessons. On this night, Shetland shares that it’s a “very mixed crowd” noting that some older people were showing off older dances. While the crowd usually settles on a routine to follow, everyone adds their own flair.