When it comes to stories out of France, you really do not have to try hard to find a good laugh. Although the countries new president seems to have his head on straight, that does not mean that the civil servants even have a brain.
Country line dancing has become a big hit in the wine-loving country. They are even wearing the Stetson hats and Justin boots. They may not dance exactly the way country-loving folks might do here in the states – God forbid – but line dancing has become so big that French officials think it should be regulated like soccer and rugby.
The Times Online provides us with the original report.
He (Jean Chauveau, the chairman of the country section of the French Dance Federation) said the French shunned the square dancing that is popular among country and western fans in the United States because it involved physical contact. “They don’t want to take anyone by the hand or anything like that,” he said. But they were passionate about line dancing, where participants follow the steps without touching anyone else. “I think this corresponds to the individualism of our times,” Mr Chauveau said.
Note to Chauveau: I’m not quite certain how popular square dancing is in the United States – Wikipedia only had two black and white photos from the late 1960s – but to be fair, their does seem to be quite a few square dancing associations out there.
In a peculiarly Gallic approach to the phenomenon, French civil servants say line dancing should be submitted to the same rules as sports such as football and rugby. This means imposing training courses for line dancing teachers and a state-approved diploma for anyone who wants to give lessons or run clubs.
Amateur instructors will have to take 200 hours of training under the new rules. Professionals will get 600 hours, including such subjects as line dancing techniques, “the mechanics of the human body” and the English (or at least Texan) language. They will also learn how to teach line dancing to the elderly.
The cost of the courses, about €2,000 (£1,570) for the professionals and €500 for the amateurs, will be largely met by taxpayers. Mr Chauveau said the regulations highlighted the French state’s obsessive desire to organise all public activity. “France is the only country in Europe apart from Greece where sport is controlled through the state,” he said. “Line dancing is now considered a sport, so it is being controlled, too.”
This is a perfect example of government control, socialism and nanny state all rolled into one. So why do they want to regulate a bunch of people getting together and stomping around while they avoid touching each other?
Do they regulate ballroom dancing or ballet? I don’t think so.
So why regulate country line dancing? I think that the French civil servants want to regulate country line dancing not because it is a sport, rather because it is uniquely American.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy may be more conservative and in line with western ideas, but the roots of France’s government are still as stuck-up as ever concerning Americans.
DrewM over at Ace of Spades sums it up for us.
Of all the things that the French could pick to worship from America they go with line dancing and Jerry Lewis. And they think they are so superior why exactly?