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How to Country Dance With Line Dances

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 6/28/2011

Want to learn how to country dance? Here are a few steps and tips to get you started with easy line dances.

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    The Appeal of Country Line Dances

    If you want to learn how to country dance, you can learn quite easily. While there are many types of country dances, you’ll probably want to start with country line dance.

    Country line dances have wide appeal because they’re composed of simple step combinations and performed to popular music.

    Besides their simplicity, line dances are also appealing because you don’t need to have a partner. Unlike a ballroom dance setting, you’ll never have to feel awkward asking a new person to dance or waiting on the sidelines if the numbers are unequal.

    With line dancing, you can jump into a dance right away and become part of the group.

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    Tips For Learning How to Country Dance

    If you want to know how to country dance, the best thing to do is find a local country bar or restaurant where they have line dancing.

    Many venues for country line dancing offer lessons for new dancers at the beginning of the evening before a dancing event starts. Do some calling around, and you’ll be sure to find someone who can give you some instruction. Your country dance lesson may be completely free.

    Before you join in with a group of country line dancers, here are a few tips to help you get started:

    • Be adventurous. Country line dancing is so simple that anyone can do it, and most dancers will welcome newcomers. Don’t be afraid to jump right in and join a line dance in progress.
    • If the line dance is a particularly fast one, you may want to hang at the outskirts of the group so you avoid being trampled on or getting in the way.
    • You can find instructional country dance videos on the internet. You may find it helpful to learn a few basic steps at home in your living room before partying down in public.
    • Typically there are local variations of every dance. So if you learn the line dance to “Cotton-Eyed Joe” in one venue, be open to learning a new interpretation at a different bar.

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    Common Country Dance Steps

    Country dance steps are relatively easy for anyone—even those with no dance experience—to pick up. Here are a few common steps you’ll encounter in country line dancing:

    • Grapevine
    • Kicks
    • Stomps
    • Heel swivels
    • Toe twists
    • Touch Steps
    • Shuffle

    Most of these steps are exactly what they sound like. The only moves on this list that you may be unfamiliar with are the grapevine and the shuffle. Rest assured, these steps are simple as well.

    The grapevine is a common folk dance steps that lets you move side to side. If you want to move right, you step to the right with your right foot and then cross your left foot in front. Next you step out with the right again, this time crossing your left foot in back. Simply put: the grapevine is a stylized way to step in front of and behind one foot over and over.

    The shuffle is a step that involves quickly brushing your foot against the ground before stepping out with the foot.

    If you want to see what the grapevine, shuffle or any other country dance step looks like, head to YouTube. This exhaustive, free resource can give you a great idea of what to expect when you head out to learn country dance.