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Written by: VVR

Line Dancing is a formation dance in which a group of people dance in lines, executing the same movements.

In a smaller group there may be only one line, but usually there are several parallel lines, one behind the other. Dancers dance in a synchronized manner, but independently.

Although line dances can be fairly simple, complexity can be created through several means, including higher-count sequences or unfamiliar sequences of steps. Other body movements such as hand gestures also add complexity.

There are variations to the parallel lines set-up. Dancers may face directly towards each other or in larger groups, these will become several groups of in-facing lines. Dancers often weave in and out, exchanging places, or dance up to each other, making momentary contact such as a hand clap.

Line dancing has a cowboy image, and it was danced predominantly to country western music. This has been changing since the 1970s when the hustle line dance became popular. Today, country music may make up the minority of a line dance DJs playlist, with the balance spread over a variety of musical styles both new and old.

History and Culture
Line dance is sometimes thought of as originating in the Wild West. In fact, it has a much more diverse background. Many folk dances are danced in unison in a single line, and often with a connection between dancers.

Line dancings current popularity grew out of the disco period, when the country-western dance and music communities continued to explore and develop this form of dancing.

Line dancing is a popular recreation activity and is practiced and learned in country-western dance bars, social clubs, dance clubs, ballrooms and dance studios worldwide. It avoids the problem of imbalance of male/female partners.


Basic: One repetition of the main dance from the first count to the last.

Variation:Dancers who have progressed beyond beginner status will often replace a section of a dance with a compatible set of steps which is called a variation.

Count: A dance will have a number of counts, for example a 64-count dance.

Restart: The basic dance sequence is interrupted and the dance routine is started again from the beginning.

Step: A dance is made up of a number of movements called steps.

Step Descriptions

One foot moves to the side, the other food is placed next to it, and the first foot moves again to the side.

One foot moves to the side, the other moves behind it, the first foot moves again to the side, and the second touches next to the first. There are variations: the final step can consist of a hitch, a scuff, placement of weight on the second foot, and so forth. The name of the step is sometimes abbreviated to vine.

To the left or the right. This is a grapevine with a cross in front as well as a cross behind. Creates a slight zig zag pattern on the floor.

Triple Step:
This is 3 steps being taken in only 2 beats of music. Can move forward, backward, left, right or on the spot.

Shuffle Step:
A triple step to the front or the back, left or right side, starting on either foot. The feet slide rather than being given the staccato (short and sharp) movement of the cha-cha. There is a slight difference in the interpretation of the timing to give the element its distinctive look. It is counted as 1 & 2, 3 & 4, etc. However, the actual amount of time devoted to each of the 3 steps in the shuffle is 3/4 of a beat, 1/4 of a beat, then one full beat of music.

Lock Step:
A triple step backwards or forwards, starting on either foot, with the second foot slid up to and tightly locked in front of or behind the first foot before the first foot is moved a second time in the same direction as for the first step.

Other steps include applejack, botafogo, butterfly, coaster step, heel grind, hitch, jazz box, kick ball change, kick ball step, lunge, mambo step, military turn, Monterey turn, paddle, pivot turn, rock step, sailor step, scuff, spiral turn, stamp, stomp, sugarfoot, swivet and vaudeville.


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