Absolute Beginners Guide to Line Dancing

Have a go !! It’s all about absolute beginners

Article written by Therese Chiswell (C) 2019.

What is line-dancing all about? Do forgive us if we state the obvious but this is strictly for the ‘novice nibbler’ - If you are reading this, you may already be considering having a go!

So what do you do? Find out where there is a class and walk in! Heart pounding in a room full of strangers gliding and gyrating around the floor in unison, your first thought is “Help! I would love to do that but never could” …………then, run for the exit!

No, re-wind.

Usually the instructor and group understand only too well that it is a first for you. They will position you in the middle of the group so that you will always have support. Usually there is a Beginners session you can join where everyone is at a similar level and trying easier dances to start with. Most Instructors will define the level of their class eg: Beginners Session, Improver, Intermediate. Do not be put off by the first few weeks as you’ll need to learn a few basic steps (like ‘Grapevines’, ‘Rocks’, ‘Chassis’, etc) and basic counting rhythms before these skills can be incorporated into a dance. So there is a lot to think about – you will need to have patience with yourself. You should also know that not everyone learns in the same way or at the same pace, and that this is dancing to prescribed moves - a different skill from perhaps anything you may have done before so, all in your own time. Usually the only requisite for dancing is to have safe footwear so that you are able to turn (pivot) without pulling limbs, but the Instructor will explain this to you and possibly point you in the right direction for getting suitable footwear.

Like any activity or hobby there are procedures and rules to support learning and for creating a safe, happy dance floor. The concept of line-dancing, as written about here, encompasses the word in its broadest sense and one’s experience will depend on what classes/groups you attend and which socials, bands etc. you may see.

Line-dancing is just what it says – the dancers use similar steps and all dance together in ordered lines. There are prescribed steps with names which we learn as we go along and dances are given names so that we know which routine we are following. Most dances, written by various talented choreographers, have 32 or 64 steps and get rehearsed in blocks of 8. The floor is like a big clock really, where the teacher begins at 12 o’clock – so ¼ right will be 3 o’clock, the back of the hall, 6 o’clock ,and ¼ left, 9 o’clock.

Better stop there – you nearly got your first lesson on paper!! But just remember...

  • Line-dancing is where you can combine all the recreational needs of mind, body and spirit in one fell swoop.
  • It is a place where you can forget the worries of the world.
  • A place where you can listen to a variety of music.
  • A place where you can find your own personal space or socialise.
  • A place where the old grey cells are kept active and alive.
  • A place where you physically exercise and get to learn about your own body.
  • A place where you commit to memory and exercise the brain. (and stave off memory problems in old age).
  • A place where you get a real buzz dancing and dancing.

So if you got to read this far - why don’t you have a go? – you will never look back !!!!!

Article written by Therese Chiswell (C) 2019.

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