Line dances are styles of group dance. In the United States, these dances are most frequently performed to country music. Medium to large dance floors are the best place for these dances, as space is required for dancers to line up, one row behind the other, in a formation like soldiers on parade. The same sequence of steps is repeated by everyone for the duration of the song. Easy and popular line dances are the Cowboy Charleston, Tush Push and Barn Dance Mixer. Line dance styles have their roots in Merengue, Paso Doble and other famous dances.
The Cowboy Charleston
The Cowboy Charleston takes its name from the famous dance of the Roaring Twenties. In North and South Carolina, the birthplace of the original Charleston, the line version related to the original dance keeps the characteristic feet and arm movements and is performed faster than the average Country and Western line dance. Suitable music includes songs such as "On the Bayou,"’ by Hank Williams.
The Cha Cha Slide
The Cha Cha Slide, also known as the Casper Slide, is named after the U.K. chart-topping song of the same title by DJ Casper from Chicago. Casper wrote the hit for a fitness workout group. Its influences include the Electric Slide, an earlier disco-inspired line dance. The Cha Cha Slide is popular with line dance groups because the lyrics are instructions on the movements, such as, “Right foot two stomps, left foot two stomps. Slide to the left, slide to the right.”
Boot Scootin' Boogie
The Boot Scootin' Boogie line dance was inspired by a song of the same name. This song describes how a hard working country music fan enjoys dancing away his evenings at his local country bar. This song, by country band Asleep at the Wheel, came to the attention of a Vancouver choreographer Bill Bader, who taught what was then known as the, the “Vancouver Boogie.” Later on, the top country duo Brooks & Dunn recorded their own version of the song and it made the top of the charts. This success brought back popularity for the dance and it was given the name “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.” The original version of the song requires faster movements while the cover version allows beginners to learn the steps more easily.
The Barn Dance Mixer
The Barn Dance Mixer began life as a barn dance which took its inspiration from the Merengue and Paso Doble. When the Billy Ray Cyrus song, “Achy Breaky Heart” (one of the biggest country singles of all time) was released, a choreographer named Melanie Greenwood wrote the accompanying line dance as a marketing strategy. She began a dance craze that swept the nation and the Barn Dance Mixer gained an affectionate nickname, “The Achy Breaky,” in dance clubs.
- dance troupe image by Wayne Abraham from Fotolia.com