Line Dancing

The music can have any beat and tempo, since line dancing refers to the organisation of the dancers rather than to a single strict style. Each line dance is a fixed sequence (although sometimes there are variations), often originally choreographed to a particular piece of music. Dance figures are borrowed from other dance styles to suit the music.

Dancers generally dance separately in rows and columns, although some dances permit linkages into pairs (shadow hold) or larger groups in lines. There isn't so much emphasis on precise footwork for most steps as there is in ballroom dances. There's a lot more clapping, slapping and shouting than in ballroom though.

Chassés, Triple Steps/Cha-Cha-Chas and Shuffles/Locks

These are steps akin to those in quickstep, cha-cha etc. The rhythm is quick-quick-slow. The triple step is a cha-cha-cha on the spot, ie C C C, still resulting in a change of foot. The chassé is a sideways move, closing feet in between side steps, ie S C S. The shuffle is a forwards (or backwards) move where the feet are closed in the middle rather than locked, ie F C F or B C B.

Triple Step on Right Triple Step on Left
Beat 1 (Q) and (Q) 2 (S) 1 (Q) and (Q) 2 (S)
Feet RC LC RC LC RC LC

Chassé to Right Chassé to Left
Beat 1 (Q) and (Q) 2 (S) 1 (Q) and (Q) 2 (S)
Feet RS LC RS LS RC LS

Shuffle Forward on R Shuffle Forward on L
Beat 1 (Q) and (Q) 2 (S) 1 (Q) and (Q) 2 (S)
Feet RF LC RF LF RC LF

Grapevines

These are sideways moves where side steps are interleaved with the other foot crossing behind or in front alternately. The usual form is a cross behind (first). Although one could continue sideways indefinitely in this fashion, the grapevine generally stops after only a couple of side steps - ending with a closing touch, heel scuff or flick or one more cross-over step.

Grapevine Right (+B) Touch Grapevine Left (+B) Touch
Beat 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2
Feet RS LxB RS LC t LS RxB LS RC t

Grapevine Right (+B) Flick Grapevine Left (+B) Flick
Beat 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2
Feet RS LxB RS LF fl LS RxB LS RF fl

Grapevine Right (+B) Cross Grapevine Left (+B) Cross
Beat 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2
Feet RS LxB RS LxF LS RxB LS RxF

Coaster Step / Twinkle

The coaster step is the equivalent of the old twinkle step in waltz. Two steps in different directions (typically backwards and forwards) are separated by a close of feet. So the net effect is a change of feet rather than much change in position.

Coaster Back on Right Coaster Back on Left
Beat 1 (Q) and (Q) 2 (S) 1 (Q) and (Q) 2 (S)
Feet RB LC RF LB RC LF

Scissor Step

The scissor step is somewhat like a sideways twinkle.

Right Scissor Step Left Scissor Step
Beat 1 (Q) 2 (Q) 1,2 (S) 1 (Q) 2 (Q) 1,2 (S)
Feet RS LC RxF LS RC LxF

Jazz Box

This is borrowed from rock and roll. However, the line-dance version seems to omit the initial forwards step (which is what makes it a box at all!) and to add a close at the end instead. The figure is typically quite slow, with each step taking 2 counts.

... Jazz Box ...
Beat 1,2 1,2 1,2 1,2 1,2
Feet LF RxF LB RS LC

Rock-Recover / Rock-Step

This is the equivalent of a check-step (in any direction). The forwards and backwards motion is seen in Rumba, Cha-Cha, Jive and Rock'n'Roll. In sideways form it's also like a cucaracha (eg Rumba). Weight goes with the initial step but is then transferred back to the other foot (without changing the position of that foot) on the next count.

Rocking Chair

This is a pair of forwards and backwards rock steps in opposite directions.

RF Rocking Chair LF Rocking Chair
Beat 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2
Feet RF LB RB LF LF RB LB RF

Heel Struts

These are walks forwards, initially on the heel before lowering the toe to use the flat of the foot. They are slower than normal walks - taking 2 counts to complete each step.

Toe-Heel Walks

These are rather self-evidently the opposite of Heel Struts - being slow walks forwards or backwards, intially on the toe before lowering the heel to use the flat of the foot. Once again, they are slower than normal walks - taking 2 counts to complete each step.

Step Full-Change

This is a little like a Samba whisk - especially in its timing. The initial step is usually forwards on a strong beat. The other foot is placed close behind it, taking weight only on the toe, just before the next strong beat. At which point the original foot steps again in place or slightly forwards.

Right Step Full-Change Left Step Full-Change
Beat 1 a 2 1 a 2
Feet RF LCb RCf LF RCb LCf

Flick Full-Change / Kick Ball Change

This is similar to the step full-change except that the first foot is flicked forwards in the air and hence is immediately used again. It is placed close behind the supporting foot, taking weight only on the ball of the foot, just before the next strong beat. At which point the original supporting foot steps again in place. It's a classic rock and roll element.

Right Flick Full-Change Left Flick Full-Change
Beat 1 a 2 1 a 2
Feet RF fl RCb LCf LF fl LCb RCf

(Drunken) Sailor Step

This step typically incorporates some body sway to simulate drunkenness causing a stagger. All the steps are very small.

Sailor back on R to go L Sailor back on L to go R
Beat 1 (Q) and (Q) 2 (S) 1 (Q) and (Q) 2 (S)
Feet RxB LS/C RC LxB RS/C LC


© Susan Foord (sf@pedag.org) 2010-08-04
Linkage: | Home | Dance Index | Dance Styles |