Orange Mound dance group vows to keep moving despite COVID-19 pandemic


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The coronavirus pandemic has hindered a lot people from doing what they love, but a group of line dancers from Memphis came together and vowed they will continue to dance despite the adversities of the pandemic.

A group of dancers from Orange Mound found themselves practicing and dancing outside due to the pandemic. Prior to the coronavirus, they would dance at the Orange Mound Community Center.

As the pandemic began, the group, originally known as the 8 Energizers from Orange Mound, had to be creative. Michaela Turner-Stroud said the group, which consists of almost 30 people from around the area, came together to stay active.

“It was just a way for us to release the stress,” Turner-Stroud said. “To get off the pounds we were gaining from sitting around not doing anything.”

As time went on, Turner-Stroud said people would see them dancing and want to become a part of it. She said people have become interested in joining them by word of mouth.

“It’s just been great, it has just been growing. I can tell you I don’t know half of the people that are over there now. The word just gets out and people come,” Turner-Stroud said.

If you see them dancing, it may look difficult. In fact, Turner-Stroud sends out an email with the dance instructions, and dancers learn them and show up here to show their stuff or learn the true techniques.

Jayleena Bills, the instructor, said sometimes the dancers think the moves are complicated. But she said once she shows them the steps, they realize how easy it really is.

The “Keep It Moving Line Dance Group” consists of seasoned dancers with the youngest being 58 years old.

Adrienne Roddy is one of the members who has been for four years. She said she enjoys the socialization that comes with it.

“It is just wonderful socializing with all the ladies and all the different ages. To see us just keep moving, not sitting around doing nothing. Just keep it moving. That’s what we do. Keep it moving,” Roddy said.

But it is not just women dancing. Lukey Williams one of the males in the group, and he and his wife Elena have been dancing since 2013.

Williams said it is all about having a good time.

“The thing about line dancing, it’s not a competition. And I am not really a dancer. But you don’t need a partner. You can get out there and don’t nobody mind if you mess up,” Williams said.

The “Keep it Moving Cardio Line Dance Group” dances every Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Orange Mound Community Center Parking Lot, and Tuesday mornings at nine at Audubon Park near Goodlett and Southern.

They said they plan to continue to dance until it gets too cold.

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