How to Learn Dance Steps to Dance to Bluegrass

By Lorraine Ramirez
For bluegrass dancing, you need to be quick on your feet.

Bluegrass music is infused with bango picking and folk rhythms. It’s a sub-genre of country music that often features a fast tempo and lively beat. Also called mountain music, the “bluegrass bands [of] today reflect influences from a variety of sources including traditional and fusion jazz, contemporary country music, Celtic music, rock & roll.” Learning how to dance to bluegrass music can be an enriching and enjoyable experience even if you have no other previous dance training. With the right resources, you can be dancing away in no time.

Practice at home. Clogging is a step dance that is traditionally used to dance to bluegrass music and is "derived from the dances the Scottish, English, Irish, and German immigrants did when they settled in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1700s." Relax and put on your favorite bluegrass song.

Learn the basic steps. Start with your left foot and begin stepping in place to the downbeat. Relax and try not to stiffen up. If you look like you're marching, loosen up. Just step to the beat of the music.

Add a kick to your step. Keep stepping on the down beat, but this time incorporate a kick to your step by letting your feet come out in front of you. Kick forward before you step. You are following a four-count rhythm: kick step kick step kick step kick step (and one and two and three and four).

Kick forward with your left foot, and then step in place three times. Practice this step, and when you're comfortable with the movements, switch over to your right foot. These are the basic steps of clogging.

Tip

Bluegrass dancing is a light-hearted dance. You need to relax and let loose for this type of dance.

Invest in a pair of western boots. A boot's sole allows for gliding and the heel of the boot aids in keeping to the beat.

Attending a bluegrass festival will give you a chance to see live clogging. Bluegrass festivals give you an opportunity to learn more about bluegrass culture and music. Live bands and dancing groups often perform during festivals.

About the Author

Lorraine Ramirez received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas A&M International University. While teaching English at the secondary level, she writes education articles that deal with the joys and pains of teaching and uses her experiences in the classroom as her primary source of inspiration and reflection.