Growing up, Jordan Smith ’17 said there wasn’t much for high school students to do in his hometown in northwest Indiana.
They were pretty close to Chicago, but that was expensive. There was the mall, but that was normally overrun by middle school students. And because they weren’t 21 years old yet, that ruled out a lot of the other options.
So Smith and his friends learned how to line dance.
“I had a group of friends who always wanted to go to this place called DC’s Country Junction,” Smith said, “and I was always turned off by it because it was country. So they spent a good six months trying to trick me and get me to go.”
Finally, his friends’ efforts paid off. Smith thought they were carpooling to go celebrate his friend’s birthday. Instead, he ended up at DC’s Country Junction without a way out.
“It was $5 to get in,” he explained, “and I’m the type of person that, if I’m going to spend money, I’m going to at least attempt to enjoy myself.”
It took a while, though. The first time he got out on the dance floor, Smith laughs remembering how he didn’t know how to do anything the other people were doing. There was a lot of confusion, and a lot of bumping into other people.
For many, that type of experience would be a turn off. But for Smith, it was a challenge he wanted to take on.
“I went back the next week and got a little bit better. And then the next week. At first, I just wanted to show people that I could do this, but then I eventually started to like it.”
So then for three years straight, the dance floor of DC’s Country Junction was where Smith could be found almost every Saturday night.
Though he doesn’t get back home much anymore, Smith can still be found breaking out some of his line dances at local clubs and bars. Sometimes he dances alone; other times, people who know the dance jump right in there with him.
“DC’s Country Junction taught me two things: to never judge a book by its cover and that you’ll never know what you like until you try it,” Smith said. “I saw the word country, and automatically assumed that it was not for me.
“It doesn’t come up much in conversation,” Smith laughed, “but I still remember how to do most of the dances, and I will happily do them anytime, anywhere if you ask.”