Photo of people line dancing

Line Dance

For the past three decades the art and hobby of line dance has been in the forefront of people's minds and is the truly American Western form of dancing that is enjoyable for the entire family.

A line dance itself is a choreographed dance routine that takes place with a group of people, which repeats the same sequence of steps in one or more lines or rows, with complete disregard to the gender of the individual or age. In line dance there is minimal physical contact and generally everyone faces the same direction.

Line dance is an American folk dance and the line dance tradition came about due to a number of factors. The earliest of the folk dances in a vast amount of cultures were themselves line dances, that had originated before social properties were to allow males and females to dance together as couples.

History of Line Dance

The earliest forms of these line dances featured men and women in separate lines, but mimicking the same movements line by line. Countries rich in Balkan culture and traditions exhibit strong “line dancing” folk traditions and these dances and similar line dances are performed in the international folk dance movement.

A decidedly large amount of folk dances are danced in unison in a single, nonlinear line with a connection between the dancers, whereas the absence of a physical connection between dancers is a distinguishing feature of country and western styles of line dance.

Line dance is known to incorporate country and western styles of music, dance and dress and as a result has become synonymous with American culture and is arguably the strongest folk American dance. However, line dancing has also been used and attributed to other music styles including pop, swing, rock'n'roll, disco, latin and jazz.

The line dance craze has remained popular since the 1970s, however line dancing first caught the public's eye with the Madison , a popular line dance from the late 1950s. From this the understanding of line dance worldwide began to grow and during the 1970s there were a number of line dances strongly associated with country-western music, including the “Cowboy Boogie” and the “Tush Push”.

The 1980s saw a growing interest in all things American Western and the line dance movement became increasingly more interesting to the masses and over a dozen different line dances were created with the use of country and western music.

The film “Urban Cowboy” released in 1980 showed a new era of country music mixing with popular music trends and created a new interest in the western culture and as a result thrust line dance into the forefront of people's minds once more.

The 90s saw Billy Ray Cyrus' “Achy Breaky Heart” and a number of other popular songs spur line dance forward once more and there were record numbers of line dance students and as a result line dance now features very traditional dances to country music as well as not so traditional dances to non country music. The art of line dance is practiced at a number of country-western dance bars, social clubs, dance clubs and ballrooms across the world and is still a popular theme for celebrations.