If you’ve been to country nightclubs in America, you must have noticed a choreographed dance with a repeated sequence of steps performed by a group of people in one or several lines while facing each other.
This type of dance is commonly referred to as country line dancing. Line dancing is different from circle dancing because the former doesn’t involve physical contact among dancers. In this article, you will learn the basic country line dancing steps and songs for beginners.
History of Country Line Dancing
Country line dancing is believed to have descended from the disco era in the 1970s, when various dancing styles emerged in America, including the Electric Slide dance. It is in this same era that country-and-western line dancing styles such as Walkin Wazi and Cowboy Boogie arose.
Some historians claim that line dancing came from traditional folk dances, while others say it came from the modern disco.
Regardless of its origin, country line dancing has become very popular in America, Europe, and other parts of the globe and it is intimately connected to country-and-western music.
However, this style of dancing has incorporated many musical styles besides country and has crossed boundaries of race, income, age, and gender. In fact, country line dancing is now considered a form of art, with its standardized steps and vocabulary.
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Different historians have differing ideas about where country line dancing originated from, with some even suggesting that it started in Europe and was brought to North America in the 1800s by European immigrants.
They claim that these immigrants brought with them many aspects of their culture, including traditional dances such as polka and waltz, from which popular dance moves like round and square emerged.
Many people also believe that these dancing styles introduced most of the current terms and steps used in country line dancing. For instance, some dancing steps used in country line dancing seem to have been borrowed from Contra dancing, which originated in Europe.
This European dancing style, which is still being performed to date, involves men and women standing in two separate lines while facing each other.
In the early 1960s, different line dancing styles emerged including “The Madison”, “San Francisco Stomp”, and “Hully Gully”. So, by the 1970s, line dancing was done to a wide variety of music styles including disco, rock-and-roll, jazz, pop, swing, and many others.
Several other line dances for country music were later created in the 1980s, and the current country line dancing was probably born in Nashville, Tennessee around this time.
Some reports indicate that Jim Ferrazzano – a country dancer and choreographer–wrote some line dancing steps to the song “Tush Push” on a napkin in the 80s.
These steps were later tested by a popular line dance choreographer Melanie Greenwood, who later brought the steps to the dance floor and even incorporated them into several songs, including “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus. This song later became a hit, catapulting the country line dance into the mainstream.
Country Line Dancing Today
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In 2008, country line dancing caught the attention of the French government. It has also incorporated many traditional dances into country songs and popular line dances into non-country songs.
This style of dancing is now very popular in many western nightclubs, wedding parties, ballrooms, gyms, social clubs, and other social gatherings around the world. This dancing style is part of most social welfare and recreational programs all over the globe.
Although country line dancing has spread to other parts of the world, it is still predominantly practiced in America, Australia, and Europe. In Europe, this style of dancing became more popular with the arrival of the Country Music Television in 1998.
And in 2014, the city of Durham in North Carolina was officially declared the city of line dancing following its capital ranking by MeetUp groups.
Currently, many online resources have been created to help country line dancers to find their favorite line dances and songs. Therefore, it’s very easy to find a country line dance by its name, name of the choreographer, and music. These online resources also enable you to find the best places to perform country line dances.
6 Different Kinds of Country Line Dances
1. Electric Slide
Although this is one of the oldest line dancing steps, it provides you with a perfect opportunity to try line dancing for the first time with your cowboy boots. The style consists of four walls and 18 counts. It was choreographed by Richard L. in 1976. It later moved beyond country music and it was matched with Marcia Griffith’s Electric Boogie.
The Electric Slide line dance includes a great line to the right and touch, a great line to the left and touch, a walk back for three and touch, step forward and back, step forward, and curve.
2. Cowboy Cha Cha
The Cowboy Cha Cha line dance includes four walls and 20 counts with a lot of turns. Therefore, it requires a bit of practice to master the steps. But it’s a lot more fun than other country line dancing styles when you understand it.
This line dance was choreographed by Kelly Gellette and Michelle Stremche, and has been incorporated into many songs including “Neon Moon” by Brooks and Dunn and “Gone Country” by Alan Jackson. It involves rocking forward and forward while making cha-cha steps, half turns, and curves.
3. Double D
Also referred to as Duck Dynasty, Double D line dance is one of the latest country line dancing steps. It was choreographed by Trevor Thorton in 2015. It involves four walls and 32 counts. Double D has been incorporated into many songs including “Cut ‘em All” by Colt Ford and Willie Robertson.
Like Cowboy Cha Cha, the Double D dance has a lot of rocking back and forth, steps, and turns. Therefore, it requires a lot of practice and patience.
4. Tango with the Sheriff
The Tango with the Sheriff country line dance was choreographed by Adrian Churm and it includes four walls and 48 counts. It is a delightful mixture of slides and box steps. Even though it is not one of the most complicated country line dancing styles, it requires patience and a lot of practice.
5. Bring on the Good Times
The Bring on the Good Times line dance includes four walls and 32 counts, and it’s one of the most delightful country line dancing steps. It was choreographed by Gary O’Reilly and Maggie Gallagher. With a mixture of slides, struts, steps, turns, claps, and rocks, this country line dance lives up to its name.
Furthermore, the Bring on the Good Times line dance offers a perfect transition from a beginner to an intermediary dancer. This line dance has been incorporated into various songs, including Bring on the Good Times by Lisa McHugh.
6. Tush Push
Having been on the scene for over two decades, the Tush Push line dance is one of the oldest line dances. It was choreographed by Jim Ferrazzano in the late 1980s. This line dance consists of four walls and 40 counts.
With numerous hip bumps and cha-chas, the Tush Push country line dance requires a bit of practice. Fortunately, it has been incorporated into various songs including “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” by Brooks and Dunn and “Chattahoochee” by Alan Jackson.
10 Country Line Dancing Songs
1. “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” by Luke Bryan
2. “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” by Toby Keith
3. “Down in Mississippi,” by Sugarland
4. “Any Man of Mine,” by Shania Twain
5. “Watermelon Crawl,” by Tracy Byrd
6. “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” by Brooks & Dunn
7. “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” by Big & Rich
8. “No One Else On Earth,” by Wynonna Judd
9. “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” by Trace Adkins
10. “Chattahoochee,” by Alan Jackson
Whether you want to be a professional country line dancer or just practicing for your social gatherings, this article will help you to perfect some of the most popular country line dancing steps in no time.
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