In September of 1996 THE BEAT began its regular Top 5 analysis of dances encouraging instructors around the country to determine the most popular dances in their area. At the time dances such as Smokey Places, Ghost Riders, Mary Lou and Honky Tonk Twist were making their mark on the floors and it seemed like New Zealand had all of a sudden acquired a huge amount of quality dances.

But no dance has really had the impact that “FLY LIKE A BIRD” has had to the Kiwi public.

On its debut to the Tauranga classes it appeared that it was going to be, dare I say it…just another dance.. But then on acquiring the proper song it lifted the whole profile and now the dance has enjoyed an amazing thrashing that no other dance has.

No matter what part of the country you find yourself you can guarantee that line dancers will flock to the floor as soon as Boz Scaggs sings his song “Fly Like A Bird.” 

All this amazing credit belongs to choreographer Hedy McAdams who hails from Palo Alto, California. Recently she made an appearance to Australian dancers introducing her latest creations.

Although I have not had the opportunity to personally meet McAdams it seems amazing that just through one dance you can sense the quality and insight she had to marry together a great song and reasonable simple but challenging steps.

The could be the reason that “Fly Like a Bird” has been the number one dance in New Zealand for a total of 39 weeks and has only just lost its number one placing to yet another McAdams special “Love Letters” already into its second week as No. 1.

During New Zealand’s Inaugural Line Dance Awards, Hedy McAdams received a “Crystal Eagle” award for Most Influential Overseas Choreographed Dance.” Most patrons recognizing this dance as the best they have ever experienced.
A review in “The Beat” September 1996 rated the dance 9/10. Maybe dancers reactions were not recorded as the dance certainly deserves 10/10.

I guess the down side is that “Fly Like a Bird” has finally left the No. 1 spot but no one will deny the fact that it deserved its greatness. I feel it will remain on the charts for a considerable time yet and who knows a resurgence may see it peak once again at top spot. The upside of it all for McAdams is that “Love Letters” featured in the May issue of The Beat has enjoyed excellent coverage and looks destined to be yet another top creation for this marvelous lady from the U.S.A.

P.S. McAdams has dedicated “Love Letters” to the choreographic courage, artistry, and craftsmanship of yet another American great Mr. Neil Hale.

After her Australian tour Hedy will head home to Palo Alto, California for some well deserved rest. She say’s she will need to re-organize her household and restart her full time occupation as a “Divorce Counselor.”


~ June 1997

Flying High
A Dedication to Hedy McAdams

Story by Mack Apaapa

All contents of this page © 1999-2012, Cactus Rose Presents and Hedy McAdams and, unless otherwise noted. Artwork and photos are not public domain; contact Hedy McAdams  to request permission to reproduce.