Brilliant, sequined gowns in vibrant colors, fancy decorated shirts, and cowboy hats contrasted with the traditional red and black country shirts and jeans of the Country Cruisers Dance Team, but they weren't outclassed on the dance floor, placing first again in their division last month at the Indy Dance Explosion in Indianapolis, IN.
The Cruisers bring their own brand of classic country style that blends couples' and line dancing that integrates the best country/western moves set to modern country music. Janet Kruse (dancewithjanet.com) has transformed a bunch of casual, but dedicated, dancers into the Country Cruisers Dance Team, formed in January 2013 to promote line and country/western dancing for the Cadillac Ranch in Bartlett, IL.
The Country Cruisers, composed of nine Chicago-area dancers, celebrated their second dance competition at the Indy Dance Explosion. The team competed in the second of three regional competitions required for advancing to compete in the Worlds Dance Competition in Orlando, FL, over the New Year's holiday later this year. The "Worlds" is sponsored by the United Country Western Dance Council (UCWDC), which oversees the dance competitions worldwide.
In addition to Janet Kruse, team members include Courtney Blum, Cathy Feltz, John Kyle, Betsy Maaks, Dan May, Rob Ryan, Kate Warner and Diana Wood. Only one more regional competition remains for the dancers: the Chicagoland Country and Swing Dance Festival, Rosemont IL, August 15-17, where they will perform in front of their local friends and peers before heading to Orlando for the Worlds in December.