Line dancing at the veterans home

GENOA – Although most of the dancers on Friday night wore western-style apparel – blue jeans, plaid shirts, cowboy boots and cowboy hats – Mike Kloser of DeKalb is quick to point out the line dancing group he leads can appeal to almost anyone.

“It’s not just country line dancing,” Kloser said. His partner, Ann Clevette of DeKalb, regularly plays songs from genres including pop, rock and roll and traditional Greek and Irish music.

Kloser and Clevette have each been leading line dance groups for decades as the popularity of line dancing has risen and fallen, and in July of 2011 they brought monthly line dances to the Genoa Veterans Home.

“(This is) the only place I know of in DeKalb County that still does line dancing,” Kloser said. “People were trying to find other places to dance since some places were closing.”

Kloser said between 30 and 50 line dancers attend most months. Most are regulars, but he hopes to attract new dancers to Genoa. Some regular dancers, who pay $5 admission, drive to Genoa from places as far away as Dixon, Marengo and even Janesville, Wis.

“It’s fun, it’s exercise, it’s social enjoyment and everybody has a good time,” Kloser said.

Doug Cook of Malta estimates that he has been line dancing for at least 20 years.

“I’m a farm boy and I grew up doing this,” said Cook, who dances with his wife Dawn every month.

“Girls like guys who can dance – I figured that out a long time ago,” Doug Cook added.

The next line dance in Genoa is on Feb. 15. For more information, call 815-758-0146.