Basic Line Dance Steps

By Chris Olvera

Line dancing is great way to have fun while tipping back a cold one in your favorite honky tonk or just for some exercise. You don’t need a partner, just the knowledge of a few simple steps to get you in the line and dancing. Pretty soon you’ll be Boot Scootin’ and doin’ the Cotton-Eyed Joe.

Grapevine

The grapevine, also called the vine, is perhaps the most used line dance step. The grapevine is performed by walking to the side while your feet are passed in front of and behind each other. You may have seen this move by watching football players practice.

Chasse

The chasse (sha-say) comes from ballet and means chase. This step is found in several dances including line dancing. The dance step is where one foot moves to the side and the other follows it, when the following foot meets the leading foot, the leading foot takes off again. This can be repeated until you’re on the other side of the room.

Cross

The cross or unwind is where one foot crosses over the other and then, while on the balls of your feet, you make a half turn so your legs are uncrossed.

Weave

The weave combines the grapevine with a cross in front as well as a cross behind. This dance step allows you to travel in zigzag formation across the floor.

Hook

The hook is where you raise one leg and cross it over the other leg just below the knee.

Hitch

The hitch is where the knee is raised so the lower part of your leg is left to dangle.

Coaster

The coaster is the dance step where you take one step back, then follow with the other foot. After both feet are together step forward with the first foot. This move also can be done stepping forward.

Splits and twists

The heel split is when you put your weight on your toes and spread your heels out and back. Do the opposite for a toe split. Heel twists are similar to heel splits in that your weight is put on your toes, but instead of just spreading your heels, you twist your heels while keeping your toes in one place.

Pivot

The pivot is where you put one foot forward and pivot and on the ball of the other foot. If you put your left foot forward, pivot to the right. If you put your right foot forward, pivot to the left.

Stomp and strut

The stomp is pretty self-explanatory—it’s where the foot is put on the floor with force. But there’s also a heel stomp where your weight is on the heel when placed on the floor. There are two types of struts: the heel toe and toe heel. The heel toe strut is where the heel is placed down first, followed by the toe. The toe heel is just the opposite.

About the Author

Based out of Brookfield, Ill., Chris Olvera is a writer and editor with more than 15 years experience. He was editor of Manufactured Home Merchandiser for 10 years. Chris also was an editor for CSP Magazine and of the Villa Park Review. He is a graduate of Columbia College in Chicago.