Country Music Artist/Line Dance Enthusiast Scooter Lee was born in New Orleans, Louisiana over fifty years ago in a family with five brothers and four sisters. Her early life was filled with emotional, sexual, and physical abuse, as well as alcohol rage.
She started performing on the stage, with her incredible voice, when she was just 15 years old. To combat her dysfunctional home environment, she ate and ate and ate, eventually topping out at almost 300 pounds.
She developed skin cancer, breast cancer, and uterine cancer but was still eating McDonald’s Quarter Pounders and french fries every day. In 2001, her doctor told her she needed to get her life under control or face a major heart attack. Needless to say, she was depressed.
Though the damage to her joints and organs was not reversible, Lee started to pay attention to her own health, eventually losing over 150 pounds in five years.
During this period, her music became very popular and many of her songs were very popular line dance songs. Her talent for writing music that was perfectly phrased, not only for line dancing, but for line dance videos, the radio, DVDs, led her to receive several awards, such as:
- “Country Dance Artist of the Year” British 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
- 2000 inducted into the Britsh Dance Hall of Fame w/Jo Thompson, Billy Ray Cyrus, The village People and Brooks & Dunn
- Spirit of Europe Award in Berlin, Germany 2000
As popular as her music was for line dancing, at first Lee didn’t line dance herself. Finally, after learning to eat right, exercise, and create good habits in her life with positive thinking and positive people, she included line dancing in her life. Because line dance steps are low impact and weight bearing, they can help build strength, increase muscle mass, regulate body temperature, and reduce body fat levels.
DANCING FOR THE DREAM®
Jo Thompson, another award-winning choreograper who has worked with Scooter Lee many years, had an idea. The two women researched their idea and began telling everyone how good line dancing was for the body and the brain. They founded Dancing for the Dream® in 2003, a National 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation established for the purpose of promoting health, physically and emotionally, through line dance instructions.
“We are not a line dance event. We are a national non-profit health charity using line dance as our chosen form of exercise, thus allowing us a way to gather statistics on the health benefits that can be achieved from line dancing for active adults.
“As we age, we deal with pain, arthritis, high cholesterol and high-blood pressure. High-impact dances only aggravate these conditions. For this reason, we stay with good, easy, fun-to-learn and fun-to-do, low-impact dances. We add variations for the more experienced dancer so everyone dances at his or her level.
“Even those with walkers and crutches can participate but not those in wheelchairs. We guarantee that if you come for our workshop, you WILL be able to dance,” says Lee.
Wendy Chan, chairman of D4D Malaysia, says:
“Everyone should have the opportunity to experience the health benefits of line dancing. It’s actually the second most popular extra curricular activity in the world, using all kinds of music, especially country music. And, it’s not only for the old! We’ve had a lot of children’s workshops as well,“ says Chan, also a cancer survivor.
To read more about Dancing for the Dream®, click here.
I was fortunate to attend one of Scooter Lee’s classes for line dance instructions in Hilo Hawaii back in the 1990s. She is an incredible performer and stage presence as well as a loving and caring person.
Some of my favorite Scooter Lee line dance songs are:
- He’s My Little Jalapeno (Line Dance: Louisiana Hot Sauce; Choreographers: Joanne Brady; Gordon Elliott; Jo Thompson)
- Dizzy (Line Dance: Dizzy; Choreographer: Jo Thompson)
- I Still Believe (Line Dance: Waltz Across Texas; Choreographers: Lois & John Nielson)
- Twistin’ the Night Away (Line Dance: Twistin’ the Night Away)
- Be Bop A LuLa (Line Dance: Be Bop A LuLa; Choreographer: Larry Bass)
- Honky Tonk Twist (Line Dance: Honky Tonk Twist; Choreographer: Max Perry)
- I’ll Two Step Alone (Line Dance: I’ll Two Step Alone; Choreographe: Max Perry)
- Old Friend (Line Dance: Midnight Waltz; Choreographer: Jo Thompson)
- Rock & Roll Waltz (Line Dance: Midnight Waltz; Choreographer: Jo Thompson)
(c) 2012Renee Benzaim