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It was a FABULOUS party! My congratulations to all those dancers who experienced their first Line Dance Workshop and I hope you had fun! Participants, guest instructors and staff (who also dance after they decorate, make coffee, spread candy, candles, and keep me on track), totaled 170 dances on the floor! Just right! Y’all did an EXCELLENT job of sharing tables, using wonderful floor etiquette, meeting new friends and enjoying this day of fellowship, food and dance! My sincere appreciation to ALL of you for making this first Steppin’ Out Event a true success!

It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to team up with the fabulous Rosie Multari, a continuous, smiling bundle of energy and fun, and our local TV star from the Villages, Darlene Miller, who is always a joy to be around. I had a blast with you gals, and from the smiles and laughter, I believe the whole house did too!

I just about lost it with laughter when we did the Kazoo Surprise! Darlene explained how to operate a Kazoo, and y’all were HILARIOUS! We DID get it on video and will post it with pictures this week! Keep your souvenir Kazoo in your pocket at all times and whenever you hear Peaches and Cream or Duck Soup, you know what to do!

The dances were perfect – 11 in all – with a great mix of music from the 60’s through today, and I think all these dances are keepers.

Back in 63(Speck), Back to the 80’s(Jensen), Bad Influence(Kinsers&Furnell),Lay it on the Line(Brown), On the Sunny Side of the Street(Kurtel), Plum Blossom(Teng), Remember (Greig), Smooth & Simple(Martino), Tennessee Waltz Surprise(Sheer), To the Moon(Multari), What You Gonna Do With the Band(Bos&Verdonk). Included in the stepbook but no time to teach were Crazy in Love and See the Light.

85 dancers came back Saturday night for reviews and open dance. Darlene, Rosie and I added Bad Influence as a 3 gal “team teach” and everyone loved it!

LUNCH: “My honey” fixed us an “end of summer” picnic lunch with hamburgers, baked beans, salads, chips.Those burgers just hit the spot! Finished it off with chocolate and vanilla cakes for dessert. We like to cook for you!

PRIZES: Diamonds, Pearls, CD’s, etc.and a $330 50/50 pot (Christine Bass won both the pot and the awesome Steppin’ Out Basket donated by Terri and Linda). Ray and I will donate our half to the Ocala Lion’s Club, of which we both are active members. Your contribution will be included with other monies raised to train and provide seeing-eye dogs for the blind. We are a service organization devoted to the blind and hearing impaired. THANK YOU for your participation.

STEPPIN’ OUT: Our special thanks to Terri Alexander and Linda Heebner, who started this organization in order to offer Beginner and Improver Level dancers the opportunity to dance. Terri’s website is full of information, so do take a look. It offers SO much information as to what all Steppin’ Out Instructors are teaching our students, which means that whenever a Steppin’ Out event is held, everyone there can dance just about EVERY dance! Isn’t that a wonderful concept? Keep everyone on the floor for as long as their feet can dance!

To Nancy, Steve, Diane, Carol, Karen, Sienna, Brenda, Jan, Diane, David, Tommy, Jesse, my daughters, Carla and Michele, and the greatest husband ever, I’m always grateful just to have y’all in my life. It all works because of you!

Sincere thanks to those dance teachers who drove many miles to join the HUGE number of instructors at this workshop. Our instructors’ group picture will also be on our site. Special thanks to Jeff Miller for helping in the DJ booth, John (Terri’s husband) for taking great pictures, and Bruno and Mike for selling all those 50/50 tickets.

Thanks to every dancer in attendance for making this event such a great success. Watch the calendar for another Steppin’ Out Workshop in 2010.

Our website at shows upcoming events we are offering in the future. I look forward to dancing with you again soon!

Marilyn McNeal,



Link to the report/pics from the Steppin' Out workshop at Midnight Rodeo in Ocala.....what an awesome day!!!



What a great day for the first Florida Steppin' Out Workshop. Thanks to Marilyn McNeal, Rosie Multari, and Darlene Miller for some great teaches that many of the Instructors/dancers attending can take back to their classes. Dances taught (not in order) include Back in 63 (Speck), Back to the 80's (Ingberg-Jensen), Lay It on the Line (Dube), On the Sunny Side of the Street (Kurtel), Plum Blossom (Kwan), Remember (Greig), Smooth and Simple (Martino), Tennessee Waltz Surprise (Chumbley), To The Moon (Multari), What You Gonna Do With The Band (Wil Bos & Verdonk). Lots of open dancing to Soldier Boy Stroll, Would you be Vine, Zjozzy's Funk, Peaches & Cream, Duck Soup, Come Dance With Me, Turn Me Loose, Simplemente, Stealing the Best, and so many more. Kudos to Marilyn's hubby who served up a spectacular lunch with hamburgers, baked beans, pasta salad, salad, chips and two yummy cakes decorated with 5678 Dance. Marilyn also had many door prizes/50/50. The big winner of the day was Christine Bass who won the Steppin Out Basket donated by Linda & Terri as well as the 50/50. I hope she went out and bought a lottery ticket right away. Many of us returned for the dance in the evening where Marilyn, Rosie and Darlene reviewed many of the dances taught throughout the day as well as open dancing. They also team taught Bad Influence by the Kinsers/Furnell. It was certainly a full day. Thanks again ladies for a job well done!



I have a story to tell you about this song/dance and how it has become very special for my friend and me. I am of Cuban descent, and my friend is Chinese. I’ve been selecting to teach a lot of dances that have music with a Latin beat. A few months ago, my friend commented about it and I told her one of these days I will honor her heritage by doing a line dance to Chinese music. I have been looking for line dances being done to Chinese songs, without any success. When you taught the dance at the event, I knew I wanted to teach it, but was disappointed to hear it was in Japanese, so I was just going to use it from the perspective that the singer was Chinese. I enjoyed the music so much that I played it after class on Monday and another friend, who is Japanese asked me what language it was in and I told her Japanese. She told me that was not the case. Two days later, my Chinese friend had just gotten back from a 2 week vacation in China, and it just so happened that I was playing the music to practice for that evening’s class when she walked into the room. Her face broke into a big smile when she heard it. She told me she thought she was back in China, because she could not believe what she was hearing. She told me “That is my music!” She said that all little children in China learn that song, since the plum blossom is China’s national flower. She sang along with it, and my friend also has a beautiful voice. That night during class and I told the dancers the above story. I taught the dance and asked my friend to come up on stage with me to dance it for the first time. When we finished I gave her a big hug and the dancers clapped. It was such a special moment and she was so happy. All thanks to you!!!! Note from Marilyn: Darlene taught this pretty little waltz at our workshop. It was well received by those present but now, it has even more meaning! Thank you Liz!



Our group from the St. Petersburg-Clearwater area had a wonderful time last weekend at Midnight Rodeo. For many years I have read about the great parties Marilyn McNeal hosted and the spectacular food prepared by her husband Ray. What a wonderful treat! Marilyn and her helpers had everything organized to a T and the day flew like clockwork, with Rosie Multari, Darlene Miller and Marilyn, teaching and leading dances. It was great to visit again with Rosie and a special chance to meeet Terri Alexander, who founded Steppin' Out. For those unfamiliar with Steppin' Out, it is an instructor organized effort to coordinate dances taught to Beginners, so that they can dance outside of their regular class. Many, many thanks to Marilyn, Rosie and Darlene for a great day of dancing, to Ray for the fantastic lunch and to all those who helped make our day such fun.

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