I'M FIRST IN LINE; World champ Paula shows cowgirls how to dance.Byline: SHARON WARD and ALEX DOWDALLS
SCOTLAND can now claim to be the line dancing line dancing
a form of dancing performed by rows of people to country and western music capital of the world after a cowgirl from Cumbernauld took the country craze's supreme honour.
Nimble-footed Paula Graves danced her way to the World Advanced Open championship in front of 4000 enthusiasts in Edmonton, Canada.
And just for good measure, Christina Devine, niece of veteran country and western singing star Sydney, was runner-up in the novice category.
The double Scots success is sure to spark a country and western fashion explosion of cowboy boots, fringed shirts, Stetsons and rhinestone- studded suede shirts.
An ecstatic Paula, 36, said: "After our success, hopefully line-dancing classes will spring up all over the country."
Now Paula can't wait to teach Madonna a thing or two about cowgirl fashions.
The sexy pop chameleon, who dreamed up a new cowgirl image for her album Music, has asked Paula's dancing team to be involved in her world tour.
And as top-notch designers rushed to copy Madonna's girl-in-the-barn look, Paula, who now teaches more than 200 line dancing pupils a week in Stirling and Grangemouth, was already fashioning her cowgirl outfits for the world stage.
Her mum Jean, who was recently awarded an MBE MBE (in Britain) Member of the Order of the British Empire
MBE n abbr (BRIT) (= Member of the Order of the British Empire) → título ceremonial
MBE n abbr (Brit) (= for services to dancing, painstakingly sews her line-dancing dresses together.
Paula says: "I always look to the US for my fashion influences, but the dancing costumes can be expensive - anything from pounds 500 upwards.
"And my cowboy boots have to be soft leather, so I can do the dance steps properly. A pair of these can set you back over pounds 200."
But, if you're quick on the draw and have a little imagination, Paula says copying the Wild West look need not cost a fortune.
Several leading designers have included western gear in their spring collections, mostly in suede and leather.
But Paula says you can pick up the same flair and style in many high street fashion stores for a fraction of the price.
She says: "When we dance in competitions, the girls can't wear cowboy hats or show their midriff midriff /mid·riff/ (-rif) the diaphragm; the region between the breast and waistline.
See diaphragm. . But we still manage to look sexy.
"People think line dancing is old-fashioned and geeky, but you can be sexy without showing lots of flesh."
Outside of competitions, Paula suggests mixing your washed-out blue jeans blue jeans also blue·jeans
Clothes, especially pants, made of blue denim.
blue jeans npl → tejanos mpl; vaqueros mpl
with a plain shirt and tying a knot at the waist, just like real cowgirls wear.
She says: "Worn jeans always look sexier than new ones."
Alternatively, make a real impact by adding a Stetson and a leather belt with a chrome buckle.
Paula adds: "The shops have great cowboy hats in fake leopard print fabrics. They're fantastic and, teamed with cowboy boots and jeans, look great."
PAULA'S line dancing success might not have happened if her 35-year-old partner, Paul Meisak - a DJ at Clan FM - had not encouraged her to start taking classes after she had trained in Latin American dancing.
Paul said: "Line dancing has been around for years. Think back to the dances in Grease and Saturday Night Fever in the Seventies.
"The cowboy look was never far away. Madonna is simply just catching on in the fashion stakes.
"Legendary stars such as Patsy Cline Patsy Cline (b. Virginia Patterson Hensley September 8, 1932 – March 5, 1963) was an American country music singer, who enjoyed pop music cross-over success during the era of the Nashville Sound in the early 1960s. , Loretta Lynn Loretta Lynn (born Loretta Webb April 14, 1934) is an American country singer-songwriter and was one of the leading country female vocalists during the 1960s and 1970s and overall is revered as a country icon. , Tammy Wynette Noun 1. Tammy Wynette - United States country singer (1942-1998)
Tammy Wynetter Pugh, Wynette and Dolly Parton par·ton
Any of the point particles believed to be a constituent of hadrons, now known as quarks. No longer in technical use.
[part(icle) + -on1.] always dressed in the standard country way."
The cowboy look is sexy without being tarty tart·y
adj. tart·i·er, tart·i·est
Of, relating to, or suggestive of a prostitute.
tarti·ly adv. - unless you are Meg Mathews or Martine McCutcheon Martine McCutcheon (born Martine Kimberley Sherri Ponting on May 14, 1976) is an English singer, television personality and Laurence Olivier Award winning actress. - and society party girls such as Tara Palmer-Tompkinson have been seen sporting the country and western style.
Crossover country pop stars, including Reba McIntyre, The Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain, are now making an impact on the line dancing fashion scene.
And the new kids on the block such as Leanne Rimes, Faith Hill and Britney Spears often go for the cowgirl look.
In designing her own costumes, Paula draws her inspiration from the glamorous Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline "rhinestones, sparkles and sequins" style.
Paula says: "Line dancing and all the fashions that go with it is something which is open to people of all ages, young and old."
THE stunning outfits worn by the likes of Garth Brooks - Paula's favourite country singer and the biggest- selling solo artist in American history - often stir up just as much excitement as their music.
But although pop stars such as Ronan Keating Ronan Patrick John Keating (born March 3, 1977 in Dublin, Ireland) is an Irish pop singer. Biography
Ronan Keating grew up in Bayside, Dublin. He attended Bayside Primary School and St. Fintan's High School, Sutton, Dublin. have stepped out in their cowboys hats, many Scotsmen remain reticent about getting in on the country and western craze.
Paula says: "After our success, maybe even more men will begin line dancing, but there is still a social stigma Social stigma is severe social disapproval of personal characteristics or beliefs that are against cultural norms. Social stigma often leads to marginalization.
Examples of existing or historic social stigmas can be physical or mental disabilities and disorders, as well as which seems to prevent men from taking part.
"They seem to lack the confidence - or perhaps they feel it's just not macho enough."
The Edmonton event was the first time the world line dancing championships had been held outside of the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. .
And for Scotland to take first and second places was a fantastic achievement.
Paula can now look forward to flying the Scottish flag as world champion when the championships are held in the Netherlands next year - the first time they will have come to Europe.
Christina, a Glasgow hairdresser, only took up line-dancing a year ago, strongly influenced by her famous Uncle Sydney.
In the past year, she has picked up the British, Scottish and Irish novice line-dance titles, but her success in Canada topped them all.
Delighted Sydney says: "We invented golf and Tiger Woods Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled. is currently sweeping the boards, so it's nice to get our own back on the Yanks.
"I thought the craze for line-dancing had peaked about two years ago to be honest and it was on a decline.
"It's one of those things that will keep going and there will still be a market for it for about 30 or 40 years."
Three years ago, Sydney famously released his album Line Dance Party, which outsold out·sold
Past tense and past participle of outsell. pop megastars Oasis in Scotland.
Such has been the popularity of line dancing that the market has been widened to include rock 'n' roll rock 'n' roll: see rock music. , with Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly songs among the most popular.
Sydney adds: "At least 50 per cent of the tunes being used in line-dancing nowadays are old rock and roll songs.
"The general consensus was that the line-dancing was not quite as popular as it had been in Scotland, but with Paula and Christina's success in Canada, that could well change."