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Country gals boot-scootin’ their way into Newcastle Hoedown

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Two 20-something country gals are boot-scootin’ their way into Newcastle this month to not only raise funds for charity but place a smile on everyone’s dial.

Claire Harris and Kate Strong hit the road in March… and have driven in excess of 40,000 kilometres.

Now, that journey will lead them to the Pasterfield Community Centre, in Cameron Park, on Thursday 24 November.

Photo: Ellen Arney Ag Design and Photography

“NSW is the last state we’re travelling through, so we’re supporting Sober in the Country – making it #OK2SAYNO to beers in the bush – on this occasion,” Ms Harris said.

“And, we’re looking forward to hosting the Newcastle Hoedown.

“The event, from 6pm until 8pm, is a beginner line dance class.

“We’ll also have demonstrations and raffles.

“Everyone is welcome – and we’re hoping to get as many there as possible.

“We are certainly not aiming to make a profit for ourselves.

“Our goal is to raise at least $25,000 overall for our seven chosen charities.

“Each one has a different focus, but assisting rural people is a common denominator.”

The pair founded Hoedowns for Country Towns in 2022, a nine-month Australian road trip teaching line dancing in communities, putting events back on the calendar and helping others doing it tough at the moment.

“The reason behind it is simple,” Ms Harris said.

“Those who believe they can turn their dreams into reality, are the ones who do.

“Travelling Australia line dancing is something Kate and I have wanted to undertake for a few years, ever since the first day we met and became good friends at a barn in Toowoomba in mid-2018.

“With both our jobs requiring frequent rural travel, and with country connections nationally, we are all too aware of the importance of bringing rural communities together through ‘not to be missed’ events.

“We’re hoping to instil a love of line dancing in people right across the country, but not in a regimented way.

“When teaching, anyone and everyone is invited to give boot-scootin’ a try, with fun as the number one priority.

“We just want to see every person have a good time.”

The 25-year-old stock journalist said boot-scootin’ was “bliss”.

“Anyone can do it, it fast becomes a (healthy) addiction and, even, the simplest of dances look mighty impressive if everyone is grooving together and enjoying themselves,” Ms Harris explained.

The cost of the Newcastle Hoedown is $15 per person with children admitted free.

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