As far back as I can remember, I’ve been mesmerized by dancing.  Mom & Aunt Mary were fans of musicals (back when that used to be a type of movie!) so I was raised on Fred Astaire & Gene Kelly.  Although I’ve always wanted to dance, I never did until the late 1990’s…and then, I discovered country dancing and country music.  At my first field trip through my dance class, I was in awe.  My mouth hung open the whole night long as I waited for the three dances I knew to be played – and watched everyone else dance every dance.  How did everyone know all those dances?  And where did they learn them all?  I resolved to find out.  I was  H O O K E D !! Off I went to more dance classes & dance halls.  My goal was to learn a new dance every night I went out dancing.  As I began to recognize people, I would ask them to show me a dance they did that I especially liked. Before long that was happening to me…and people started coming over to my house to learn dances (so it wouldn’t intrude on dance time out, you know), or I would go to their homes to show them dances. In 2006 I joined Dance Encounter, a studio with locations in North Aurora & Geneva.  I studied Ballroom & Latin dances, and officially learned how to teach.  2006 was an “a-ha” year for me as a lot of pieces came together…I realized I enjoyed this teaching thing, I preferred country & swing dancing & music, and I liked the people I was meeting in the dancing community – both at the dance halls and in the classroom.

Dancing – couples AND lines – was the intriguing, delightful, limitless challenge I’d been looking for all my life. I decided to teach in other places, and entered the Park District world in 2008.  Although I began those classes by teaching dances that were done at local dance halls, like Cadillac Ranch in Bartlett & Willowbrook Ballroom in Willowbrook, the curriculum evolved to include additional line dances which are done in classes, at our bi-monthly dances at the Warrenville Community Building, and at other venues in the Chicagoland area.  We all enjoy the variety, and since there is an unlimited supply of line dances, why not?  So here we are…dancing with fabulous people, exercising, socializing, learning, laughing, singing along with fantastic music…and the list goes on.  Someone once told me that “this dancing thing” is addicting – and they were right!  I just can’t think of anything negative about it.  We dance at our own pace, our own way, and there’s no problem when mistakes are made.  Where else can you find that?

Along the way, my kids got interested, and we would all go dancing as a family.  We all dance…SO COOL!  My older daughter, Jessica, has begun choreographing her own dances.  My younger daughter, Katie, has gotten into Lindy, which is all the rage at college campuses now.  My stepson, Adam, is realizing that women are so impressed with a man that can dance…so we’ll see where that goes!  And my former husband (we still get along!), Jeff, discovered DJ’ing.  He now spins the tunes he dances to almost as much as he dances to them!  And…we discovered Rescue. 

We are are proud to be a part of Adopt A Husky, and Illinois Alaskan Malamute Rescue Association.  We’ve been a part of saving dozens of dogs’ lives over the years, either by fostering or adoption.  Dogs really are man’s best friend; we could all learn a few things about loving our fellow human beings from our dogs’ examples.  It’s just like the country song says – “I Want You To Love Me Like My Dog Does!”  So true.    So…that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!  Come join me for a class near you, and let’s get to know each other!  You’ll find my schedule of dance classes on the Couples Dance Classes & Line Dance Classes (under the Line Dance tab) pages.  


I couldn’t do what I do without the support of these incredible people.  Thank you so much!

Courtney Blum,
Webmaster & Secretary
DJ Jeff Kruse Diva,
DWJ Mascot