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What Is Country and Western Dance?

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What Is Country and Western Dance?

Country and Western Dancers

Michael Buckner / Getty Images

Known as "kicker dancing" by Texans, country dancing refers to a variety of dance styles, techniques and moves, usually danced to country-western music. Country and western dancers practice in country western dance bars, clubs and ballrooms. If you enjoy listening to country-western music and wearing cowboy boots, you may get a kick out of country and western dancing.

Country Dancing Basics:

Country and western dance can be broken into two categorie: partner and group dances. Partner dances include both lead and follow dances (in which one partner leads and the other follows) and pattern dances. Group dances include line dances and square dances.

Country Dancing Style:

Known to be an informal and relaxed style of dance, country dancing is not meant to be sloppy. Country dancers emphasize smoothness on the dance floor, and often scoot or glide around the dance floor. Most hip movement is discouraged, as is bouncing or jumping in time to the music.

Country Dancing Attire:

You don't have to dress like a cowboy to enjoy country dancing, but many people feel more comfortable wearing cowboy boots on the dance floor. Country western attire varies by region, but one suggestion seems to be universal: dress for comfort. Dancers wear jeans, slacks, skirts, cotton or silk shirts, boots, sneakers and cowboy hats. Try to stick with informal clothes that allow freedom of movement. Lightweight clothing is also recommended, as crowded dance floors tend to become a little stuffy.

Learning Country Dancing:

Country dancing is enjoyed worldwide in country and western dance bars, social clubs, dance clubs and ballrooms. Many western dance halls offer free lessons for beginners, usually early in the evening. Check with local colleges and universities for country dance or line dance lessons, as most schools have dance clubs on campus. Once you get a few lessons inder your belt, you will have enough confidence for a night of dancing. Relax and have fun...you've chosen a dance style that's fairly easy to learn, great exercise, and lots of fun.
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