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Obama spurs unity dance

Published: Mon, January 12, 2009 @ 5:50 p.m.
  Obama Line Dance


Vindicator Staff Writer

YOUNGSTOWN ­— Line dancers at the Jewish Community Center are used to dancing for exercise, but now they also dance for change and for unity.

This past week Shelia Cornell threw her class for a loop by adding a new dance and song to their repertoire: “The Obama Line Dance.”

"The Obama Shuffle" by Greg Johnson
Audio clip

“Everybody loves to dance,” said Cornell, of Girard, who has been teaching line dance at the JCC for two years.

“It’s a good way to get people united,” she said of her class’s doing the Obama dance.

Getting people united was just the target Greg Johnson of Warren was shooting for when he wrote “The Obama Line Dance” in mid-December.

“One of the first lines of the song says, ‘If we dance together, we can advance together,’” Johnson said. “It’s a unity thing.”

The ultimate goal is to have everyone doing the dance on inauguration day, he said.

About 1,000 people have been taught the moves in the Mahoning Valley, and the dance has been filmed numerous times.

The dance is on YouTube along with other variations from other parts of the country. Another popular line dance created to show enthusiasm and support for President-elect Barack Obama is the “Obama Hustle,” which is danced to the song “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder.

“Mine is right out there with them,” said Johnson of his dance, noting that it’s catching on in the area, as well as on the Web.

“Anytime we play it, people just go crazy,” he said.

Ronnie Rupert of Campbell has seen the excitement while teaching the dance to others.

Rupert, who teaches line dancing at the McGuffey Centre, helped Cornell instruct the class at the JCC last week and started off by saying, “This is a pretty popular dance.”

With his direction, the group of about 15 people were quickly doing the steps and eagerly waited to test their moves with the music.

Soon enough, the dancers were grooving to the beat and following the song instructions, “Clap your hands, it’s time for change.”

Rupert shouted out directions so the students wouldn’t get lost and encouraged them to “jazz it up.”

“It makes people feel glad,” Rupert said.

Doing the dance and listening to the lyrics reminds people of what the country has accomplished with the outcome of the last election, he said.

“If you have any dance skills you can do it, but if not you can be taught,” said Rupert, who hopes area residents will come out and learn the dance at the Congratulations Inauguration Celebration.

The event starts at 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24 at the B&O Banquet Hall, 530 Mahoning Ave., Youngstown.

“There will be plenty of Obama line dancing going on,” Rupert said.

Cornell said she’s keeping the dance, which was well received by her students, in her mix during classes at the JCC,

“It’s a wonderful way for us to celebrate [Obama’s] arrival,” said Judy Whitman of Niles, who learned the dance at the JCC.

Whitman and fellow students all agreed that the dance is not only easy to learn but good exercise.

“I think people should learn the dance for inauguration day,” said Gwen Brown of Youngstown.

Simple things such as inspirational dances and music help people stay positive, especially considering the hard times the country is facing, she said.

“We’re dancing the Obama dance for change,” Brown said.


1scrooge(563 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Ya know I really hope he can help this country and all, but can we PLEASE at least hold off the celebrating until after he actually does something?
He truly is being heralded as the Messiah for some reason. I certainly hope everyone's spirits are this high after his 1st year in office.

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2northsideart(111 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

What if you're a Republican?

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3DoctorGonzo(728 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

The guy has been annointed and given such high expectations that he cannot possibly live up to them.
There is nothing he can do to stop this country from declining even further over the next 4-8 years, I don't care if is a deity like the networks tell me he is.

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4JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

This is very similar to the GWB dance that was around in 2000. The dance is hard to describe but the song was a Skynyrd song that went "Whiskey bottles, and brand new cars. Oak tree you're in my way. There's too much coke and too much..." You get the idea.

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5northsideart(111 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I voted for Obama, but it's strange to me that people pay to go to this place to work-out, yet end up getting political inundation. Things like this are a bad sign for America. If we really want unity, we need to leave our politics at home. Could you imagine some dance instructor trying to get a Democrat to do a Bush dance? Ridiculous. This is very immature. I guess that people like me who prefer a more apolitical workout are no longer welcome at the JCC.

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6aeparish(669 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Obama dance, huh? If I wanted to see that... I'd turn on MTV.

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7bbb913(1 comment)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

we love you haters anyway, if this dance bring unity to all i say get out there and shake that booty no matter what religion you are. obama won get over it.

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8andersonathan(683 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Teach my kid that in school and you will need a new levy to pay off the law suit I will be filing.

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9scrooge(563 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Bringing unity to what bbb? He has done nothing yet. Sorry to dissapoint you but eventually he will actually have to DO something. He is already back tracking on many of the campaign promises.
Honeymoon is over on 1-20-09 people. President Obama will have to be evaluated on his accomplishments-not the euphoria that surronds him.

(I do realize the drive-by media Obama orgy will continue for a time, but even they will have to come closer to reality sometime)

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10Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Obama sez . .. Give me your money cuz I need it for the plan. Yea man you will be left with chump change.

The economy is in such sad shape that he will have no choice but to tax the crap out of the working man just to keep the unemployed from starving. I look for Obama to put a hefty tax on gasoline and fuel oil also. Just remember Bill Clinton taxing Social Security Benefits and Unemployment Compensation. Taxing the rich? To the liberals a rich man is anyone with a paycheck.

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11Seriously(22 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Wow. That sounds like the corniest, cheesiest thing EVER. I totally wanna see it.

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12scrooge(563 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

OldMan you are so uninformed on politics it's scary. Stop reading the Vindy and listening to the evening news so you can get a perspective on what's really happening.
The DEMOCRATS have had control for the past 6 years, Bush can not make laws-that's congres' job.
the war in Iraq may not be popular, but we haven't had an attack since 911. Let's see how long that stands after next Tuesday.

Obama has decided to spend $100 MILLION DOLLARS on a friggin PARTY!! A state of emergency was declared just to pay for the friggin thing.
He appointed a CIA director who has NEVER been in law.
He appointed a Sec of Treas. who is now in charge of the same IRS that he deliberatly cheated and now denies it.

Oh yeah, ANYONE will do better than Bush. We'll see.

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13Mer1(28 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm certainly not dancing. I pay $22,000 in federal taxes each year and I'm sure that will go up to pay for lazy babymaking machines.

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14clayor(281 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

May I have this dance?

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15projectgeniene(87 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

It looks fun. If it gets people moving and shaking and healthy, its all good. People need to lighten up & smile right now. I think just about everyone who has commented above could certainly use a dose of groovin', smilin' & unity.

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16Ceaman(54 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

the war in Iraq may not be popular, but we haven't had an attack since 911. Let's see how long that stands after next Tuesday.

What about the rest of the world Madrid 191 killed 1755 injured or London 52 killed 700 injured. Al-Qaida are just biding their time when and where the next attack will come is anyones guess. When it happens we can blame Obama, can we?

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17clayor(281 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Great! Waterboarding is a great deterrent to those who have earned it.It should be implemented more often.

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18epicfail(217 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm not a huge fan of Barack but luckily he has the wherewithal to see that waterboarding is just another shameful misstep following in the footprints of the Japanese-American internment and McCarthyism. Another misguided move to try and protect ourselves by throwing away the bil of rights. We are better than that. This is not an episode of 24.

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19Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago


So waterboarding is brutal but the enemy beheading Americans isn't brutal? So we should take no prisoners? We should then instruct our troops to take out the enemy and there will be no prisoners to suffer.

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20andersonathan(683 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I Barack Hussein Obama have led you to the cliff, I just ask now you leave your troubles behind you. Keep the faith and be strong take that final step with me. Keep change in your heart and hope in your dreams. And chant with as we move forward in a leap of faith "Yes We can"

[ long falling whistle sound] Thud!

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21clayor(281 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

We have been lead to the "promise land" before..it never happened.

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22clayor(281 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Have any of you in all your years have ever seen such a display, before an inauguration, at your expense? I hope this guy delivers after all the hoopla he has created.

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23scrooge(563 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

150 MILLION and counting!
Bush was chastised for his "exorbitant innagural expenses during war" at a mear 40M. Funny how when a Democrat spends the money everything is OK and the cost is irrelivant.

Waterboarding is NOT torture. You can't die from it-it just instills the fear of drowning. Our special forces are waterboarded as part of their training......nobody seems to give a darn about that, but when a murdering terrorist has it done now all of a sudden it's cruel.

Obama collected $500 million for his campaign - that's an awful lot of political favors that he'll have to cover.

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24Rocco(99 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Is it 2014 yet??? Ugh!!!

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25Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

After inauguration day Obama sez to Hillary,"now what do I do". Hillary responds,"I'll get Bill ,he always had a plan." Barack responds,"we have two embassies under attack by terrorists and I don't have time." Hillary tells Barack to lob a couple of cruise missiles but not to hit an aspirin factory as Bill did.

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26clayor(281 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I do realize that this is an historical event, so to speak, the first black president, BUT he is not the first black president, he is the first half black half white president, which nobody is mentioning. Michelle may be of more historical importance, she will actually the first TRUE First Lady who is black. Maybe he is riding on HER coattails.
Stan, not to worry, hillary and Bill have it covered, they made sure they are gonna have a say in this administration....God Bless Us All

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27epicfail(217 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago


I agree 100%, if this truly is a war, then fight it like one. Shoot to kill, capture and detain the ones who manage to surrender. However, waterboarding is torture and at least in theory our nation does not condone torture. I doubt torture's effectiveness but not the stigma of hypocrisy it gives the country which prides itself on being a bastion of personal freedom.

To cut it short, I'll echo the points Christopher Hitchens made after he underwent waterboarding himself:

"1. Waterboarding is a deliberate torture technique and has been prosecuted as such by our judicial arm when perpetrated by others.

2. If we allow it and justify it, we cannot complain if it is employed in the future by other regimes on captive U.S. citizens. It is a method of putting American prisoners in harm’s way.

3. It may be a means of extracting information, but it is also a means of extracting junk information. (Mr. Nance told me that he had heard of someone’s being compelled to confess that he was a hermaphrodite. I later had an awful twinge while wondering if I myself could have been “dunked” this far.) To put it briefly, even the C.I.A. sources for the Washington Post story on waterboarding conceded that the information they got out of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was “not all of it reliable.” Just put a pencil line under that last phrase, or commit it to memory.

4. It opens a door that cannot be closed. Once you have posed the notorious “ticking bomb” question, and once you assume that you are in the right, what will you not do? Waterboarding not getting results fast enough? The terrorist’s clock still ticking? Well, then, bring on the thumbscrews and the pincers and the electrodes and the rack."


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28PSWEET2006(6 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago


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29clayor(281 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

PSWEET, Please type in small leters and speak proper English. Read what you wrote, is that how an intelligent person speaks?

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30wearepack(26 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Dear Clayor:

"Letters" has another "t", and when you address someone at the beginning of a sentence, you don't need to capitalize the first letter of the next word. Example: "John, how are you?"

I still understood you clearly, though, and I bet you know exactly what PSWEET was saying.

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31Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

"2. If we allow it and justify it, we cannot complain if it is employed in the future by other regimes on captive U.S. citizens. It is a method of putting American prisoners in harm’s way."

They have beheaded our prisoners but this is OK? Perhaps we should behead a prisoner in front of others to get them to talk.

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32scrooge(563 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

We are a different culture than the terrorists. They think little of beheading a prisoner (or better yet-know the outrage that comes from it)yet Americans are saying pouring water on a bound,upside down prisoner, giving the impression that he's drowning(which is what happens in waterboarding) - is "cruel and inhumane". This is the same culture that fathers stone their daughters for infidelity, or amputate the right arm for stealing.
This is not a level playing field. To eliminate something as mundane (in relative terms) as waterboarding only gives the terrorists more incentive for violence.

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33Fred(131 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Waterboarding is by far too brutal. Lets just drop them in a pit with alligators until they desire to talk.

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34Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Hey, that gator pit would work! This could be the American equivalent of their beheading!


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35clayor(281 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Wear, thank you so much for the English and journalism lesson...however I do get a bit testy and anxious when I see these uneducated Obama people spouting off just because. They have no clue what is going on around them and really don't care about the issues at hand. I'm sure if you have the ability to read between the lines you see exactly what I see.

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36Rocco(99 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Well hasn't it been a wonderful 48 hours. Gitmo closing and moving the terrorists to American Soil.....brilliant - what a complete idiot. His hit men in the cabinet and admin will not hire white males, his preacher puts the whites down, etc, etc. That's more racists stuff coming out of the White House than I saw in the entire Bush admin. and in just 48 hours in office

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37clayor(281 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Well said, Rocco......you speak the truth in volumes.We are in for the ride of our lives.

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38stoochie15(6 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I cannot believe all of the ignorant people that live in the mahoning valley, and you have the nerve, to post a comment, about your president of the united states, our country, its not what he has or is going to do, its what they are going to do hes not by him self in washington, and he cant fix decades of problems surley you all cant be so ignorant, of course your not, it just plain racism, and im ashamed and hurt, because some of you are my neighbors and i see you in grocery stores, but you hide behind your computer with these remarks, you need to be ashamed to be human beings, its disgraceful, and it has nothing to do with politics its crazy. pray, i pray for you

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39stoochie15(6 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

if they want to dance then thank the lord they can dance!! and president OBAMA cannot help if people of all colors love him, but he is also a very respected man, and highly inteligent man, he didnt ask anyone to hold anything special for him it was done , so as i said before dont act stuck because its ridiculous it is what it is!!!!!!! and you all are cowards and whoever is paying 22thounds dollars in taxes a year why are you on here anyway because you are two rich you shouldnt have time hahahaha . stoochie 15 to blessed to be stressed.

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40clayor(281 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Stoochie.......first of all the Lord should have the respect to be in capital letters, NOT OBAMA, even tho you obviously do believe he is the Messiah,he is NOT what you have built him up to be, he is human and will make mistakes, BIG ONES. As for those of us who pay taxes and a lot of them, thats because we work to pay for people who never worked to have the privileges they get. We may be rich, in your estimation ,but we could be a lot richer if we only had to support ourselves not every freeloader in the county.

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41stoochie15(6 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago


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42clayor(281 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Stoochie..exactly who are "you people" who are racists? Also, who are the cowards you are speaking of? And, yes, I do have a lot of comment, and you can criticize me, however, when you criticize the other posters as "nothings", who really are intelligent people stating their views, you might get more backlash than you ever anticipated. I would say that 4 comments of your caliber does NOT qualify you for MENSA.

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43Rocco(99 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

Well put Claylor. Why is it always when you don't like Hussein they always start with the racist crap. I don't care what color our President is, I just want one I can trust and we sure don't have one of them or his gang in DC. That has nothing to do with color. I'm sick of the whining already. We have a president who is a Socialist and has the Chicago Machine in the white house along with his tax evader, terrorist buddies. Now he has a special affection for our enemies also, isn't that sweet. Hussein's true colors are coming out already and he's only been in the white house for a couple of weeks. I still want to know why he sealed his birth certificate and his college records. Now that one will be interesting when someone finds out he isn't even a US citizen. And the stomach turns..........

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44clayor(281 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

Right Rocco, nice to see him sucking up to the Muslims. He doesn't need to apologize for me. I fear he is treading on dangerous waters, trying to do too much in a short time without really understanding the task that is before him. I WONDER when that info will become public about the birth certificate and college records. I bet if mine were in question they would have the answers in minutes.

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