Scroll down to see our latest newspaper article from The Kewaskum Statesman on June 22,2017!
The below article and pictures appeared in the Kewaskum Statesman on September 29, 1994
Original Logo (right) Designed by Richard Heismann
Dancers to Perform at Kettle Kountry Kolors A Step in the Right Direction...With The 'Country Club' Western Line Dancers Article and photos by Laurie Ottery
Bill Guell and Jan Reuter lead the way to one of the many couple dances at The Amerahn
Step forward, touch left, step back, touch right, slide, skuff, cross, turn and vines all make up some of the steps to learn as the many couples and line dancers were taught recently at the Amerahn. Over 300 people come from many walks of life and all ages to join in the fun of Country Western dancing.
In January of 1991 Richard and Sandy Heismann of Plymouth started teaching Country Western dancing at Frank’s of Kettle Moraine Lake. Richard designed the logo and came up with the name, “The Country Club Western Dancers.” Lessons were later moved to the Recreational Building in Plymouth.
Among the many interested students were Bob and Joanne Stageman, Bill and JoAnn Guell, Dan Del Ponte, Jan Reuter and Carole Snyder. The Heismanns moved to Jackson, Tennessee for a new job in May of 1992. At that time, Earl and Marie Kleinke were prepared to have lessons start in their hall, The Amerahn, in Kewaskum.
On June 8, 1992, lessons were offered at the Amerahn. Students Bill and Joann Guell and Bob and Joanne Stageman became the instructors. Bill picks out the music, the dances to be taught and makes all of the tapes for lessons. Dan prints out the dance sheets with all the steps, and plays the music at the lessons. Jan became the club photographer. Carole helps with the teaching. Ready or not, the Amerahn started packing in the students anxious to learn how to do Country Line Dancing.
Occasionally Two Step Lessons are offered to interested couples. Every Monday night basics are taught from 7 to 7:30 so you can start dancing whenever you’d like. Bob credits the large crowds they draw to this policy. “We teach basics, one of the few clubs from Milwaukee to Oshkosh, that do basics every night before moving on to the feature dance,” stated Bob.
At 7:30 review is done on the last dance taught. It is a complete going over so you can refresh your memory, or learn the dance for the first time. A demonstration is then done on the feature dance for the night. The Club has lots of dedicated dancers willing to do the demos to help people learn.
Bob and Joanne Stageman teach the steps to the couples dance, "Sidekick" at the Amerahn in Kewaskum, for the Country Club Western Dancers. Lessons are held on Monday nights.
One week a line dance is taught, the following week, a couples dance. Occasionally, a night of review is done, going over various dances. Over 150 people turn out the each type of dances being taught. Some people prefer to learn only the line dances, other just couples. There are also the many who do both. Many of the students come alone and find partners to dance with when the lessons begin.
When asked what he enjoys most about teaching, Bill said, “I enjoy watching people learn, doing the dances to the music I’ve selected. I get a lot of satisfaction out of students learning how to get the most out of Country music,” he added.
The Country Club has an informal structure with no yearly dues. They do demonstrations at picnics and other events, and will be performing at Kewaskum’s Kettle Country Colors Festival in River Hill Park on Saturday, October 8. (The festival is being held on both October 8 and 9.) Members participated at the State Fair this past summer in a Line Dance Challenge.
They have adopted the theme, “Country Club” and have a “Country Club Dance.” If you take lessons with them, you are automatically a Country Club Dance member. Many Friday nights bands playing country music perform at Amerahn. Country dancers from all over get together to do the many dances they have learned.
Dance etiquette is taught to all of the students. It is important to “Country Club” members to show respect to others at dance events. The last couple of years, Country Club have taught lessons in Eden as a fund raiser for the Firemen’s Auxiliary. Club members helped the beginners catch on to the steps of many country dances.
When asked what he has gotten out of teaching and dancing himself, Bob replied, “Satisfaction! It is a big thrill for me to see people learn so easily how to dance and enjoy the music,” he added.
The Club credits part of their success to being able to work with such good people like Earl and Marie Kleinke. Bob stated, “The Amerahn is a great place to hold lessons. There is lots of room, and we have a mutual respect.”
The instructors donate their time. Donations are requested at the door. All of the money goes right back into the club paying for everything from equipment to the parties held for members. Recently over 300 people gathered for the annual picnic held in Campbellsport. At Christmas time another party is held with all the entertainment, door prizes and food being furnished to members.
The Country Club Western Dancers consider Richard and Sandy Heismann their founders, and parents of the country dancing. The Club has hatbands, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, mugs and name tags available.
If you’re looking for some fun exercise and you’d like to learn how to do country dancing, come and join the friendly people at the Amerahn. Simple steps, skuffs, vines and turns are easy to learn, even if you think you have two left feet. Country Club Western Dancers welcome new students at any of their lessons on Monday nights at the Amerahn. And don’t forget to catch their demonstration at Kettle Kountry Kolors.
Thank you Marie Kleinke for holding on to this article all these years!
The Below article appeared in The Daily News, Washington County's Daily Newspaper on April 1, 2015
News article from the Kewaskum Statesman on June 22,2017 for our 25th Anniversary of Dancing at the Amerahn in Kewaskum, WI