The instant the DJ strikes up a popular Garth Brooks song or a catchy Alan Jackson tune at a wedding reception or on a cruise ship, the dance floor fills up in a flash with complete strangers automatically placing themselves in line dance formation and magically synchronizeing their steps as if they have been dancing together for years. How do they do it?
Country dance enthusiasts keep up their repertoire of the old familiar basic dance standards, such as Boot Scootin’ Boogie, Electric Slide, Achy-Breaky Heart, Tush Push, and Watermelon Crawl so once the music starts up, they can hit the floor dancing!
They also learn new dances either by taking classes or by watching others and joining in whenever line dancing starts up. Locally taught classes are available in most communities and are typically inexpensive, costing only a few dollars for a drop-in fee. Due to increased popularity, more community recreation departments are including country line dancing among their adult fitness offerings.
Country line dancing is good, clean fun and appropriate for all ages and fitness levels. Kids, singles, seniors, couples, college students, and work groups all benefit from this form of cardio exercise where you can burn as many as 300 calories or more an hour and you are guaranteed to be working in your target heart zone with most of the lively, fast-paced tunes! Passionate country dancers get hooked on the activity knowing they are always in for a fun and action-filled time where dancing to the lively country music has the bonus of being an invigorating and effective cardio workout that ends all too quickly!
No partner is necessary, either, so someone else’s whim or schedule does not have to hold you back or keep you away from the fun. Just grab your shoes and go! And speaking of shoes, anything goes as long as they fit and are comfortable for dancing. Athletic shoes, dance shoes, and of course the inevitable cowboy boots all dance together in harmony.
Country line dances are done in one, two, or four-wall formations. Sometimes the wall turns are not directly from one adjacent wall to the next but will mix things up so you dance toward different walls in a back-and-forth sequence. The challenge is to learn the steps well enough with the first wall so you can do it easily against all the walls. The first time you try this isn’t easy but stick with it because you will have a real sense of accomplishment when you do “get” it.
Sometimes two rows of dancers oppose each other instead of everyone facing in one direction. It is wild to watch this choreography and doing it challenges your mind and ability to focus on your own footwork. It is all about memory and coordination and keeps your mind active as well as your body while time flies and you are having a blast. A cardio workout doesn’t get much better than this!
There’s no end of line dance choreographies. Dance step directions are available online for do-it-yourselfers but if you don’t know how to translate these written directions into a dance, or tend to give up easily, consider finding instructional DVDs to follow at home. Or best of all, join the fun and make new friends by trying out a country line dancing class in your area.