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Line Dancing Instructions

Stephen Rampur
Line dancing means a group of people dancing in a line in tune to a piece of music. There are some basic instructions that you will need to follow in order to get acquainted with this dance form.
For many ages, people have constantly relished each other's company through an activity called dance. Dancing itself has been around for centuries, but line dancing made its debut from contra dances which were performed in the 1800s.
In simple words, it includes a single line of men and another line of women dancing uniform steps opposite each other, with couples meeting in the middle to dance. Country line dancing began to be noticed during the 1970s, and today, it is very popular at parties, clubs, and bars.
This type of dance does not require partners to know how to dance in pairs, rather, they just need to dance independently in sync with the music.

Basic Terms

Basic: It is one repetition of the primary dance from the initial count to the last, not including any tags or bridges.
Variation: Dancing professionals who have advanced beyond the novice level often interchange a section of a dance with a compatible set of steps, which is known as a 'variation'.
Counts: A particular dance has a certain number of counts, which are music beats taken to finish one episode of the dance. This is not essentially the same number of steps in the dance, since the steps and moves can be executed between two counts or sometimes, a step may hold for more than a single count.
Restart: This is a point at which the basic dance episode is disrupted and the dance routine is set about again from the start. Restarts are utilized to set dances to the articulating of the music.
Steps: A dance typically comprises a number of steps, and every step is assigned a name in order for the instructors to tell the dancers to carry out a particular move while teaching the dance. A step can consist of any number of moves and actions.
Tag/Bridge: A tag or bridge is an additional set of steps that are not a part of the primary dance episode, and are later added into one or more episodes to make sure that the dance matches with the formulating of the music.

Conventional Steps

The following steps can be found in many types of dances, and can be blended in multiple ways.
Grapevine: Start the step with your feet together. Step your left foot to the side, and cross the right foot behind the left foot. The final move includes crossing the left foot over the right one. You need to perform the same steps again with the opposite foot to go to the right.
Hitch: This movement consists of lifting one knee straight up to get the upper leg parallel to the floor and the lower part of the leg directly down, in order to create a 90-degree angle.
Lock: The 'lock' includes crossing one leg tightly in front of the other while standing.
Scuff: Gradually swing or kick your leg past the standing foot, and allow the sole of the shoe to get in contact with the floor. This move is ordinarily executed for the purpose of changing direction.
Twist: This step comprises positioning both feet together on the floor, and moving the heels right and left.
Weave: This is similar to the 'grapevine', and includes a cross in the front and a cross behind, and forms a kind of zig-zag format on the ground.
Chasse: In this step, the dancer moves a foot to a side and positions the other besides it, and the first foot then again moves to the side.
Shuffle/Cha-cha-cha: For carrying out this move, step forward using the right foot while raising the left one off the floor. Step back on the left foot and position the right one back beneath you, and repeat the same steps with the other foot.
There are several other moves like the applejack, butterfly, pivot turn, sailor step, scissor step, stamp, spiral turn, vaudeville, etc.


Every kind of line dance is considered to comprise several walls. A 'wall' pertains to the direction in which the dancers face at any particular time. Dancers might change their direction on several occasions during an episode, and can also face in the direction halfway between two walls. However, at the end of the dance episode, they face the direction in which they started off.
A one-wall dance episode comprises the dancers fronting the same direction at the end of the sequence as at the start. In a two-wall dance episode, iterations of the episode end alternately at the rear and front walls.
In a four-wall dance episode, the dancers front in the direction that is at the end of the sequence at a 90 degree angle to either side from the direction in which they fronted at the start. There are many well-known line dances, the more popular among them being the 'Cha-Cha Slide', 'Cotton Eye Joe', 'Power Jam', 'Electric Slide', etc.
These were some line dancing instructions that consisted of a few typical dance terms and moves that are used. To learn more about the order of the steps, you can get copies of dance sheets at clubs and bars, which are normally handed out by DJs. Remember that regular practice is required to make you a good line dancer.