What Is Line Dancing?Line dancing is exactly what its name implies: people dancing in lines to music. Line dances are choreographed dances with a repeating series of steps that are performed in unison by a group of people in lines or rows. All of the dancers performing a line dance face the same direction and perform the steps at exactly the same time. Although there are usually several lines of dancers, small groups may only form one line. Line dancers rarely interact with each other during a dance, as the steps are performed by everyone at the same time.
Line Dancing HistoryAlthough many popular line dances are set to country music, the first line dances did not originate from country and western dancing. Line dancing is believed to have originated from folk dancing, which has many similarities. Contra dancing, a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form two parallel lines and perform a sequence of dance movements with different partners down the length of the line, probably had a huge influence on the line dancing steps we a familiar with today. During the 1980's, line dances began to be created for popular country songs.
Line Dance FormatBasic line dances focus on movements of the legs and feet, with more advanced dances including the arms and hands. The movements of a line dance are marked as "counts." Generally, one count equals one musical beat, with a particular movement or step taking place at each beat.
A line dance will have a certain number of counts, meaning the number of beats in one complete sequence of the dance. For example, a 64-count dance would contain 64 beats. The number of beats does not necessarily equal the number of steps, however, as steps can be performed between two beats or over more than one beat. Line dances are made up of a certain number of steps, with each step identified by a catchy name.