Arts & Leisure

Have a good time line dancing at Woodchuck Cider

WOODCHUCK CIDER HOUSE was bumpin’ with boot-stompin’ dancers, including Emma Carter of New Haven, last Thursday evening. Instructor Andrea Warren hosts these Good Time Line Dancing evenings every Thursday from 7-9 p.m., in Middlebury. INDEPENDENT PHOTO / STEVE JAMES

You might be surprised to know that every Thursday evening, the Cider House at Woodchuck Cider turns into a boot stompin’ line dancing floor. Regularly about 50 guests show up in their dancin’ duds ready for a good time. 

“If you can walk, you can line dance,” encouraged Andrea Warren, the owner and instructor of Good Time Line Dancing. “Even if you’ve never danced before in your life it’s a great place to start.”

Warren got her start a little more than a decade ago, while she was at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y., where she studied visual media. 

“I discovered line dancing in college,” she said. “I had a friend who told me I had to come out to this bar called The Roost and try it… I was instantly hooked. It was such a cool environment, and it was right around the corner from campus. I was on the line dancing floor every Thursday, for four years, from 10 p.m.-2 a.m.!”

JANELLE VINCENT FROM New Haven
Independent photo/Steve James

After graduating from RIT, Warren returned home to Addison County and started teaching her first line dancing lessons in 2015. 

“I learned from other teachers, videos and feedback from the dancers in my classes,” she said. “It sounds cheesy, but teaching line dancing is my calling.”

But getting her business off the ground had a bumpy start. 

“There would be hype and I’d have like 50 people, and then it would dwindle down to five,” Warren recalled of her early years in the biz. “My goal was always to teach weekly. It’s my stress relief too; and I look forward to it.”

Warren found a successful venue in 2019 when she started teaching weekly at Porky’s Place & Backyard BBQ on Route 7 in New Haven, but then the pandemic happened… and, well… you know the rest. 

“In March of last year, we restored the weekly classes at Porky’s,” Warren said. “We had about 100 people show up the first night with a capacity of 60! After that we gained a following of 25 regulars, which is just incredible.”

The BBQ joint closed down in August last year, and Warren had to find a new venue. 

“I’d been doing pop-up events in the area, which led me to Woodchuck via a regular’s recommendation,” said Warren, who started teaching weekly on Thursday evenings at the cidery last summer. “I can fit about 90 people on their beautiful wood floor.” 

Attendance struggled a bit in the beginning, but not for long. By October, Warren reported that there were 35 regulars and now it’s more like 50. Warren feels well supported at the cidery with the help of bar manager JC Dugan.

“It’s a safe, inclusive and fun place for folks to enjoy themselves every week,” said Warren, who always aims to make it a welcoming environment. Warren also tips her proverbial hat (she doesn’t usually wear one) to Jenna Lossmann for helping her run the show. “She’s a friend, a regular and my all-star VIP,” Warren said. 

During a regular Thursday evening event, the doors open at 6:30 p.m. People come and mingle; maybe grab a drink and settle into the vibe. At 7 p.m. Warren starts with a warm-up dance (almost always the Cupid Shuffle). Then she teaches a beginners dance, and reviews the dance that she taught the week before. Between 8-9 p.m., Warren holds an “open dance floor” where she leads a variety of dances, sometimes very beginner and sometimes more advanced — it depends on the group. 

“Then I thank everyone for coming, thank Woodchuck for hosting, and tell everyone to drive safe and I’ll see them next week!” Warren explained. “People linger; they catch up and hug goodbye… It’s a great way to stay up to date with people in your lives and make some incredible new friends.”

Warren added that the attire is flexible and the music isn’t all country. 

“Boots are not required to line dance… come in whatever you are comfortable wearing,” she said. “The age range is anywhere from 15-85 years old… And you don’t have to be country to like line dancing… Sure line dancing did originate in country music, but in the line dancing community there’s a lot more than country music — breaking that stigma is important.”

ANDREA WARREN LEADS line dancers last Thursday at Woodchuck Cider House in Middlebury. INDEPENDENT PHOTO / STEVE JAMES

Warren hosts weekly at Woodchuck Cider in Middlebury, and then does pop ups in Orwell, Bristol and Crown Point, N.Y. It costs $10 per dancer (14 and under are free). 

“Folks come for stress relief; they come for fun; they come to meet other people,” she said. “It’s incredible! We have people who come from Burlington, Rutland, New York… people travel an hour to line dance regularly. It’s amazing!”

Just recently Warren said goodbye to her former role as marketing manager at Champlain Valley Equipment and is now focused on running her own businesses. In addition to Good Time Line Dancing, Warren also does wedding photo and design work under the name AW Photo + Design. 

When she’s not teaching, she’s learning new dances or posting to the impressive library of videos on her website where interested dancers can look up dances and practice at home. 

“A lot of people practice at home, but you don’t have to,” she said. “There are no mistakes; there are only variations. We’re all human here. All I ask is that people stay in lines, well because it’s Line Dancing! But, you don’t have to be strict — you can spin if ya want to. And if you do something a little different, then you’ll be laughing alongside everyone else. You feel confident. You feel alive. It allows for that. It’s pure joy!”

Editor’s Note: To find the most up to date info visit goodtimelinedancingvt.com or follow Good Time Line Dancing on social media @GoodTimeLineDancingVT on Facebook and other channels.

Share this story:

More News
Arts & Leisure

It’s an opera! It’s a rom-com! It’s ‘La Fille Du Regiment!’

It begins the way all rom-coms do: Two single people “meet cute.” Picking flowers on a mou … (read more)

Arts & Leisure

Music with the Museum returns to Rokeby

To raise funds for Rokeby Museum’s Education Department, the organization will host the se … (read more)

Arts & Leisure

Vermont artists open their studios this weekend

Artists all over the state will open their work spaces to share their talents, tools, and … (read more)

Share this story: