Photo and Story by Rick Hiduk
One hundred line dancers or more at a time filled the dance floor at Shadowbrook on Saturday evening. They were some of 300 country music fans who turned out to hear the band Southbound and reminisce with old friends who used to meet at the Brook Niteclub in the 1990s for dance lessons on Country Night.
Attendance at the first Country Night held at Shadowbrook Inn & Resort in 14 years surprised even the most confident supporters of an event that was considered by some to be an experiment of sorts. Approximately 300 people paid to see and dance to the band Southbound, who had last played the venue in 1999.
From the first note that the band struck on Saturday night, the dance floor was full of line dancers surrounded by couples doing the 16 Step, the Cowboy Cha Cha, the Schottische, and other dances.
Spearheaded largely by dance instructor Nancy Verbryck, who taught lessons at Shadowbrook and other clubs for more than a decade, the Nov. 9 dance party was an opportunity to bring together former regulars at the Brook and a large contingent of dancers whom Verbryck knew from the Binghamton, NY, area.
“It was like time stood still,” Verbryck said the next day. The familiar faces brought back a flood of happy memories of the good times had at the clubs. “It was awesome. And it felt so good to get back on the dance floor.”
During one of the band’s breaks, Verbryck introduced a new dance to her fans, teaching them the Goodtime Shuffle, which they then practiced to “Pontoon” by Little Big Town. Nancy and her husband, Charlie Verbryck, also led a number of couples dances.
Nancy and Charlie Verbryck
Shadowbrook director of sales, Erika Edwards, remarked prior to the event that a good turnout could lead to additional bookings of country bands. Verbryck related on Sunday that sales associate Holly Freed Mangham confirmed the interest of management in bringing the country crowd back to Shadowbrook. Next time, Verbryck would like to have an opportunity to offer a refresher course in line and couples dancing prior to the event.