Diane Horner's Country Line Dancing (1992)

Blind Phyllis learns the "Tush Push"

"Dancing is easy," instructor Diane Horner imparts in the opening stanza of this 35-minute how-to video. No, it's not. If dancing were easy, there would have been more white people in Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. So why do honkies flock to joints like Wild Country in Collinsville to slide around the room in unison to pre-choreographed "line dances"? Because line dancing is easy.

Then again, Horner and her six backup dancers in Diane Horner's Country Line Dancing prove that maybe it's not. The primary reason: Horner, a dykey-looking soccer mom with red boots and stumpy legs that boast an astounding number of varicose veins, is not a good dancer. She barks her orders with confidence, but even these scenes suffer from her Fargo-esque Upper Midwestern brogue, which is about as country as Iggy Pop.

Horner encourages her line dancers to add their own personal touches to routines such as the "Tush Push" and "Slap Leather." The two male dancers in her troupe take this advice and run with it. Way too far. Each and every maneuver does not merit a spin move, fellas. Spin moves are for boy bands. If you pulled that shit in rural Georgia, you'd be taken out back of the roadhouse and fed to the inbred fiddle prodigies.

But ultimately, these very foibles are what make Country Line Dancing succeed. Perhaps Horner is subliminally urging viewers to digest her lessons and then do the exact opposite. To break from the pack, if you will. Line dancing is mostly accompanied by crappy nouveau-country music in sterile strip-mall megaclubs; it is, by its very nature, faux. With her bright-red boots (reminiscent of Katie Holmes' signature footwear in Wonder Boys), Horner is anything but, slyly subverting the suburban ballet by assuming its reins. It is Phyllis' sincere wish that for her next 35-minute vehicle, Horner subvert the horrible "smooth razz" of Nelly. Or perhaps abstract painting.

Each week the author treks to the Schlafly branch of the St. Louis Public Library, where a staff member blindfolds him and escorts him to the movie shelves. After selecting a film at random, Seely checks it out and reviews it.

 
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