Line dance how long


A photo has been obtained for the
1996 Guinness World Record.
See below.


This page shows Guinness World Records for the
"World's Largest Line Dance" and
"World's Largest Country Line Dance" *

The most recent record is listed first, followed by the previous records.

*  Note:  As of the 2007 record, Guinness has changed the wording of the line dance world record.
Previous world records were called "World's Largest Country Line Dance".
Their website now refers simply to 'largest line dance'; the word 'country' is gone.

Atlanta, Georgia August 2007:   17,000

According to the current (2010) Guinness World Records website...
"The largest line dance involved 17,000 participants who performed the Cupid Shuffle for 8 minutes at the Ebony Black Family Reunion Tour in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, on 25 August 2007."

Congratulations to all those linedancers for setting the current record!

Hong Kong, December 2002:   12,168

According to the current (Sep. 2003) Guinness World Records website...
"A gathering of 12,168 line dancers took place at the Happy Valley Recreation Ground, Hong Kong on 29 December 2002. The attempt was organised by The Community Chest of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Dance Federation, the Home Affairs Department, Leisure and Cultural Services Department and Television Broadcasts Limited. They danced to 'Baby Likes To Rock It' for 7 min 40 sec."
Oddly, Guinness failed to mention the name of the line dance used, but I asked the right person in Hong Kong and I found out that the line dance used was "Baby Likes To Rock It" by Hillbilly Rick.

This is still the largest record for "Country Line Dancing" since the Atlanta event was a style of linedancing classified as "soul line dancing".

May 2002:   11,967

The line dancers of Singapore and some from neighbouring Malaysia showed up en force on May 1, 2002 at the huge Expo Center in Singapore.   It was an awesome sight.  That word "awesome" is overused nowadays, but it could not be more appropriate here.  Imagine 6 or maybe 8 football fields worth of dancers quite closely packed. There were sections with school kids who learned to line dance in their P.E. classes.  And many seniors were present. Just about every line dance instructor brought almost all their students.
The line dance chosen for this attempt, Singapore Swing, was choreographed by Bill Bader of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada who was flown in for the project to help leading the crowd and teach a dance workshop afterward.
Accountants were hired to monitor the world record attempt and verify the numbers of dancers. The official counting needed to be done before all 13,500 ticketed dancers understood that they were in their designated spots, as it was 20-30 minutes prior to the actual excitement of dancing for the record.  But once everyone gathered, it was an amazing sight. Huge video screens around the huge space were used to project the dancing so that all could see, alternating between those of on the stage and those thousands on the main floor.
Guinness World Records recognized this attempt as the official "World's Largest Country Line Dance" with 11,967 line dancers according to the letter received by Mr. Peter Ng of NTUC Income Cooperative in Singapore, the main corporate sponsor of the world record attempt.
Whatever the official numbers were - versus what the ticket numbers told - it was certainly a hugely successful charity fundraiser; at $2 a head, there was a whopping $27,500 raised for the Heart Fund, topped up to $30,000 by NTUC!
On the following day, the front page of Singapore's major newspaper, the Singapore Straits Times, had a big photo spread and very supportive article.
Click here for The VIDEO (This link goes off this site to YouTube; click your Back arrow to return here.)
Click here for PHOTOS

Click here for the front page NEWS ARTICLE

Click here for a PERSONAL REPORT
Sources: Bill Bader, Mr. Peter Ng.
Tamworth 1997-2002:   5,502 - 6,744

Line Dancing World Records were set in 6 consecutive years (!) in the small but dynamic town of Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia.  There, for the past few decades, they have held the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Starting in 1997, in conjunction with the music festival, organizers arranged for the "Longest Line" event -- the town closes it main street for 8 blocks or more, line dancers gather together on the morning of the last day of the festival (Sunday), and the participants try to set the world record.  This attracts a large percentage of the 10,000-30,000 people who attend the annual festival.  Grizzly Adams hosts the Longest Line, and Julie Talbot, well-known line dance instructor from the Sydney area, does a quick lesson of "Boot Scootin' Boogie" choreographed by Bill Bader, a line dance that most Australians learn in their beginner classes.
The amazing Aussies broke their own world record year after year.  The "Longest Line" has been even been featured on international TV shows.  Here are the numbers of dancers who participated in the "Longest Line":


     1997     5,502
     1998     5,882
     1999     5,966
     2000     6,275
     2001     6,698
     2002     6,744

Country Goss magazine
Click here for VIDEO

Redwood City, California, July 1996:   3,700+

"Cowgirls Twist was performed by more than 3700 dancers on July 4, 1996 in Redwood City, CA in the San Francisco Bay Area.  This won the 1996 Guinness World Record for the World's Largest Line Dance."  Source: and Evelyn Khinoo (photo).

Noteworthy UNOFFICIAL Records

Laughlin, a small town south of Las Vegas, was the site for a very large (and long) line dance event in in the early 1990's.  Estimates range from 8,000 to over 10,000 dancers. But this event was not submitted for recognition by Guinness World Records and did not have the necessary monitors to verify the attempt.  This in no way negates the obvious size of the event.  The dance used was "Jungle Jam" choreographed by Charlotte Skeeters.
Source: Charlotte Skeeters, one of the organizers of the event.

20 Beginner Line Dances You Need to Know! – Country Dancing Tonight

Since becoming introduced to the country dance scene a couple of years ago I have found much happiness in learning to dance and over time becoming a better dancer. If you are new to the country bar dance scene, I know how you feel! At first, it is equal parts intrigue and intimidation, exciting and terrifying! But don’t worry it will all work out!

You can divide all the dancing into 2 groups: partner and line dancing, and what follows here is a good round-up of the most popular and easiest beginner line dances out there.

Learn some of these and you’ll be set to get out on the dance floor every time you go out! Starting with the most common and easiest and working down… But all these are very beginner line dances.

Here’s my list of 20 beginner & popular line dances you will encounter: (click on them to pop down to each one).

1. Cupid Shuffle
2. Wobble
3. Electric Slide
4. Power Jam
5. Cowboy Hustle
6. House Party
7. Watermelon Crawl
8. Black Velvet
9. Boot Scootin’ Boogie
10. Two-Step (the line dance-not the partner dance!)

11. Good Time
12. Linda Lu
13. My Maria
14. Rock Me
15. A Little Bit Lit
16. Slapping Leather
17. Outlaw
18. Tush Push
19. Country Girl Shake
20. Ten Step (this is actually not done in lines!)


1. Cupid Shuffle

Count: 32Wall: 4Level: Very Beginner

Choreography: Bernard Bryson (Cupid)
Music: Cupid Shuffle by Cupid

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Cupid Shuffle was choreographed by the singer Cupid and created simultaneously with his song The Cupid Shuffle that was recorded in 2006. When he set out to create it, it was with the exact intention of creating a line dance classic without genre, that everyone could dance to. He came up with the dance in the studio while making up the song.

That is all history! While the song isn’t a country song, this line dance has to be my lead off, since its arguably the most popular and one everyone has danced to (at bars, weddings, schools). It is particularly easy since the lyrics tell you what to do next! “To the right, to the right, to the right, to the right… To the left, to the left, to the left, to the left… Now kick…” so, no excuses, you can do this! But download the step sheet if you are worried!

Line Dancing at the Brandin' Ir...

Please enable JavaScript

Line Dancing at the Brandin' Iron can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: How to Do the Cupid Shuffle | Line Dancing (

Demo & Teach Video


2. Wobble

Count: 32Wall: 4Level: Beginner

Choreography: V.I.C. Brentnell
Music: Wobble by V.I.C.

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
The Wobble is another non-country line dance that is about as popular as the Cupid Shuffle. And another line dance created by the musical artist! Its very fun and always a crowd-pleaser. It is very common to see people doing the Wobble at weddings and parties as well as a local country bar where it is sure to get everyone out on the dance floor. The Wobble can get a little long though with the song lasting over 5 minutes. A lot of jumping! can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: How to Do the Wobble | Line Dancing (

Demo & Teach Video


3. Electric Slide

Count: 18Wall: 4Level: Beginner

Choreography: Ric Silver (1976)
Music: Electric Boogie by Marcia Griffiths
(with scores of alternates, including Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus and Fast As You by Dwight Yoakam)
Step Sheet: Click here to download.
While the Electric Slide was originally choreographed in 1976, it was Marcia Griffiths song Electric Boogie that gave it popularity. It was in 1989 when it really took off and for ten years was listed as the number one dance in the world! Today there are many songs used to dance the Electric Slide to. Achy Breaky Heart is a popular go-to at a country bar, but so many others work great. It is simple enough here’s the steps:

1. Grapevine right. Take one step right with your right foot.
2. Grapevine left. Take one step left with your left foot.
3. Rock forward and back with a toe-touch. Step back with your right foot, then bring your left foot to meet it.
4. Quarter-turn left and begin again…

It’s pretty easy (once you know it!). I’ve only known the Electric Slide for a couple of years and I did need a video to get that rock, toe touch, and quarter-turn all timed right. Another great thing about line dancing, especially with an easy one like the Electric Slide is that, as you get good, you can “play” adding in turns, etc. to have fun, make it your own and show-off a little on the dance floor. can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Electric Slide (Line Dance) – Demo & Teach (

Demo & Teach Video


4. Power Jam (San Diego Version)

Count: 24Wall: 4Level: Beginner

Choreographer: Lynn Bryant
Music: American Muscle by Canaan Smith
(and countless others!)
Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Power Jam is a pretty common call-out and is aptly named. It’s pretty fast-paced and the slides and heal taps and then the hop at the end that most people do is all great fun. This is a good one to get under your belt and a live band is for sure going to have some songs for it.

There are a couple of slight variations I’ve noticed with Power Jam. Firstly, for the first two heel-taps to the front and toe-taps to the back, most people just do one tap and hold it for the extra beat. Secondly, at the end of the dance instead of the little hop, you can also just stomp the left foot. can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Power Jam (Line Dance) – Demo & Teach (

Demo & Teach Video


5. Cowboy Hustle

Count: 32Wall: 4Level: Beginner

Choreographer: Unknown
Music: What the Cowgirls Do by Vince Gill

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Cowboy Hustle is another great fun, fast and easy line dance not too unlike the Power Jam. In fact, I’ve been confused and switched these for each other at times. They both tap out the right heel forward and behind, so watch out for that! Like the Power Jam, Cowboy Hustle can go with many songs and will get called out commonly. can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Cowboy Hustle (Line Dance) – Demo & Teach (

Demo & Teach Video


6. House Party

Count: 24Wall: 4Level: Beginner

Choreographer: Jessica Short and Kerry Kick (2014)
Music: House Party by Sam Hunt

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
House Party is a favorite one at The Ranch in Anaheim and after all, it is co-choreographed by Kerry Kick one of the weekly instructors there. It has a very current feel, danced to Sam Hunt’s song House Party. It feels like a lot of spinning to me since besides two step-turns there are 4 turns and shuffles (to make the four walls of the house!) But its always a fun one with a full floor. During those 4 turns and shuffles people hold up and touch their hands to look like a house, kind of reminds me of YMCA! can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: "House Party" Dance Lesson (

Demo & Teach Video


7. Watermelon Crawl

Count: 40Wall: 4Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Choreographer: Sue Lipscomb
Music: Watermelon Crawl by Tracy Byrd

Step Sheet: Click here to download
Watermelon Crawl is a beginner/intermediate, but is also super common and popular and a lot of fun. One small tip to learning this one that helped me was to just ignore the two 1/2 turns at the end of the dance just wait for everyone to stop turning and you’ll be a little more ready to start the beginning of the dance again with everyone.

The fun part of this dance, of course, is the stepping out to the right and then sliding back. I think that part is supposed to be the watermelon crawl.” And the song, of course, has a good message: “If you drink, don’t drive…do the watermelon crawl.” Click on the video below to see Ranch dance instructor Shelly Graham demo the dance! can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Watermelon Crawl – Line Dance (Demo) (

Demo Video


8. Black Velvet

Count: 40Wall: 1Level: Beginner

Choreographer: Linda De Ford
Music: Black Velvet by Robin Lee

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Black Velvet is also a very common line dance and while a beginner line dance, this one was pretty intimidating to me at first. This line dance was my first exposure to “contra” line dances. Contra line dances are dances where every other line of dancers is facing the opposite direction, or the lines start facing each other and then move past each other.

It can be a lot of fun since typically there’s a lot of high-fives happening as you glide past your friends. But for the beginner, it looks pretty messed up.

Who do you follow? The people to your left and right are faced opposite you! So, just look to the next row at the person going in your direction and follow them! This ends up being really fun and it actually is pretty easy! Check out the video or download the step sheet to give it a try. can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Black Velvet Line Dance (

Demo & Teach Video



Boot Scootin’ Boogie

Count: 32Wall: 4Level: Beginner

Choreographer: Tom Mattox & Skippy Blair
Music: Boot Scootin’ Boogie by Brooks & Dunn

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Boot Scootin’ Boogie is actually a line dance not often seen in So. Cal. but is one I wish was. While I’m a recent convert to the country dance scene, I’m a long-time country music fan and I had wondered, “Hey, what about Brooks & Dunn’s Boot Scootin’ Boogie?” I wondered if there was a line dance for a great classic that talks about line dancing! Well, sure enough, there is! In fact on the Copperknob website, there are 3 pages of step sheets to different versions of dances to the song!

If you love Brooks & Dunn as much as me and you want to have this one under your belt. On YouTube Bill Bader’s version is pretty common but in So. Cal. I’ve only seen people dance the Tom Mattox & Skippy Blair version. They both are 32 counts, but this one’s more of a beginner line dance. can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Boot Scootin Boogie (

Demo & Teach Video


10. Two-Step (line dance)

Count: 16Wall: 4Level: Very Beginner

Choreographer: Robert Royston – Dance Y’All Crew (2013)
Music: Two-Step by Laura Bell Bundy featuring Colt Ford

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
The Two-Step line dance is not to be confused with the Two-Step partner dance! As explained in the video below from “Dancin’ with Patti” this is from the music video by Laura Bell Bundy found on YouTube. With only 16 counts this is a very beginner line dance. Reminds me a little of the Cupid Shuffle.

Fun fact: Robert Royston also more recently choreographed the line dance seen in Midland’s Mr. Lonely music video. So, another music video that people have now learned a line dance from. can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Two Step Teach and Demo (

Demo & Teach Video


11. Good Time

Count: 48Wall: 4Level: Improver

Choreographer: Jenny Cain
Music: Good Time by Alan Jackson

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Good Time, you’ll notice is actually not considered a beginner line dance! But it is very common and if you stick with it I think you’ll get it down pretty quick. The highlight to me is the toe-taps & rolling grapevines, first to right and then repeated (mirrored to the left).

Fun fact: In Alan Jackson’s music video of Good Time it shows him singing out on the road and trying to set the record for the longest line dance. 22 miles long it says at one point! There are different opinions about whether it’s true or not, some say it was a real honest attempt, but falls short of the actual record set in China. Please leave a comment if you know the real facts! can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Good Time line dance (

Demo & Teach Video


12. Linda Lu

Count: 48Wall: 4Level: Improver

Choreographer: Neil Hale
Music: Linda Lu by Ricky Van Shelton

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Linda Lu is also another super common line dance called out and at 48 counts is aptly called by Copperknob an upper-beginner/intermediate line dance. This isn’t a favorite of mine w/ the “out-outs,” “in-ins.” Maybe it’s just me! can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Linda Lu line dance (walk-through) (

Teach Video can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Linda Lu line dance (demo) to Delbert McClinton's Linda Lu (

Demo Video


13. My Maria

Count: 32Wall: 4Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Choreographer: Mike Camara & Dan Albro (1996)
Music: My Maria by Brooks & Dunn (a Cha-Cha at 136BPM)

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
My Maria is another beginner / intermediate, but at 32 counts not too hard. This is a great line dance to another great classic Brooks & Dunn song. The unique thing is that it is a Cha-Cha line dance. The Shuffles between alot of the steps are 3 steps: Cha-Cha-Cha. The pivot-hooks are a lot of fun too. can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: My Maria Line Dance Instruction (

Teach Video can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: My Maria (

Demo & Teach Video


14. Rock Me

Count: 32Wall: 4Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Choreographer: Donna Manning & LeAnne Lesmeister (Mar 2013)
Music: Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Rock Me is my favorite line dance! I am a big Darius Rucker fan and his song Wagon Wheel is a great song. The rocking steps choreographed to “Rock Me” throughout the dance is pretty cool. I don’t see it called every night but it should be! So good! can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Rock Me Teach and Demo (

Demo & Teach Video


15. A Little Bit Lit

Count: 32Wall: 4Level: Beginner +

Choreographer: Rob Fowler (2017)
Music: Lit by Trace Adkins

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
A Little Bit Lit is a dance that is taught a lot on the weekends at the Ranch Saloon. A good one for beginners. And like some other line dances on this list just a really great country song to dance to. Lyrically the song Lit is amazing. A fast and fun song. Included below is the lyric video! can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: A Little Bit Lit – Line Dance (Dance & Teach in English & 中文) (

Demo & Teach Video can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Trace Adkins – Lit (Lyric Video) (

Trace Adkins Lyric Video for Lit

16. Slappin’ Leather

Count: 40Wall: 4Level: Beginner

Choreographer: Gayle Brandon (California modified version, 2016)
Music: Footloose by Kenny Loggins and Blake Shelton (alt: T.R.O.U.B.L.E. by Travis Tritt)
Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Slappin’ Leather
is a very famous line dance that is considered a beginner dance. You can dance this to the Footloose song from the movies, but the movies actually didn’t have Slappin’ Leather as part of their choreography. The Footloose movie features the more advanced line dance Fake ID. Click here to go to my post that talks all about that.

Slappin’ Leather has a part in it (the Slappin’ Leather part!) that seems pretty intermediate and takes some coordination! But the dance is just too fun and famous not to include it here. This dance is going to pretty much get called almost every night depending on the club your at. There are many variations of it throughout the world, but the step sheet and the video here are the So. Cal. version.

Fun Fact: Slappin’ Leather was used in an episode of the TV Show Pretty Little Liars. can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Slapping Leather (Line Dance) – Demo & Teach (

Demo & Teach Video




Count: 32Wall: 4Level: Beginner

Choreographer: Suzanne Wilson (Norco, CA Style)
Music: Whiskey Drinkin’ S.O.B. by Mikel Knight

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Outlaw is a pretty popular dance but is one of the line dances out there that isn’t to a country song. Country rapper Mikel Knight doesn’t really fit at all in my opinion of what country music and country dancing is about, but people love the dance! can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: The Outlaw (Line Dance) – Demo & Teach (

Demo & Teach Video


18. Tush Push

Count: 40Wall: 4Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Choreographer: Jim Ferrazzano (1979)
Music: Chattahoochee by Alan Jackson

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Tush Push has been called the most popular line dance in the United States for the last 20 years! There’s a great story about how Jim Ferrazzano came up with the dance over a period of time, to check it out click here. One thing interesting is that it’s kind of 2 dances in one. This is because it was only 1/2 written for months. When completed, the final steps were cha-cha steps setting them apart from the first part of the dance.

Note: When you download the Step Sheet you’ll notice there are 6 options included on the 2nd page! can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Tush Push (Line Dance ) Walkthrough ( All Classes Through City Of Clovis ) (

Teach Video


19. Country Girl Shake

Count: 32Wall: 4Level: Improver

Choreographer: Michele Adlam & Maria Hennings Hunt (2011)
Music: Country Girl (Shake it for Me) by Luke Bryan

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Country Girl Shake is another really popular line dance. There are a few variations out there, but I think this demo and Teach video along with the step sheet will get you really close to whatever you might see. can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Country Girl Shake (Line Dance) – Demo & Teach (

Demo & Teach Video


20. Ten-Step

Count: 18Wall: 0Level: BeginnerLine / Partner

Choreographer: Unknown
Music: Devil Went Down to Georgia by the Charlie Daniels Band

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
The Ten-Step is actually not a line dance! The Ten-Step would really be considered a partner dance. As such, you can dance it with a partner, but it is commonly danced individually and so much fun that I wanted to include it. It is also easy! Like most partner dances it is danced in a circle (counter-clockwise) on the dance floor.

One common song to hear when it is called is Devil Went Down to Georgia. The beat is fast and its a lot of fun when the band speeds up the tempo toward the end to challenge both the fiddle player and the dancers to keep up, ’til, of course, they can’t!

So, if dancing with a partner, you do so in the sweetheart position or just holding hands. But, if individually you get the fun option to spin during the shuffle steps that occur between the “10-step” part. (altogether it is an 18 count dance).

And if by chance you watch the video below taken at the Cowboy Palace in Chatsworth and struck by the particular magic and charm of this scene click here to read the recounting of my experience there. It truly is an awesome country dance bar. can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Ten Step – Danse country partner (

Demo Video can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Devil Went Down to Georgia (

Demo of the Ten-Step at the Cowboy Palace in Chatsworth


Some Beginning Line Dancing Basics

So there it is! My list of what I think are 20 of the easiest and also popular line dances out there right now. In addition to the dances themselves here’s a little more information about line dancing if you’re new to all this and a little confused about what is happening out there on the floor–I know I was!

A couple of things to know about if you’re new! Line dances are typically 16, 32, 40 or 48 steps (based on the level of difficulty) You may have noticed these numbers are all divisible by 8! Most popular music has a 4/4 time signature, but dancers count beats in sets of 8, hence line dance choreography is grouped and taught in sets of 8 or with “8-count.

Next (and the other major thing), line dances are known for having one, two or four walls. A one-wall dance means everyone will face in the same direction when all steps are performed. A two-wall line dance is when at the end of each sequence of steps everyone has turned 180º and you begin again facing the back — for these dances, you will always just face the “front” and “back” walls. Then, with a four-wall line dance (the most difficult), at the end of the steps, everyone has turned 90º and “begins the dance” again facing one of the “side” walls. As the dance progresses you will keep finishing and starting again facing a new wall.

TIP: When first learning and taking a class it is tempting to hide in the last row! But as you may have already guessed, that’s a bad idea! As soon as the dance has moved on to the back wall, if you were in the back, you are now in the front! You can’t see anyone and everyone is looking at you! So, find a good spot somewhere in the middle and you’ll be able to always watch someone who knows what they are doing!

With 20 line dances to learn and a couple of basics, you are ready to get involved in this fun activity. Like anything else in life, it takes some just plain jumping headlong in and learning as you go!

Dance sport

I would like to answer a frequently asked question that interests both spectators and dancers alike: What are the principles by which the judge evaluates the performance of a couple?

There are too many criteria by which the judge could evaluate to consider each in detail in the time allotted for the performance, especially since at least six couples are judging at the same time. Therefore, the judge relies on the overall impression that the couple leaves. An experienced judge sees the estimated dance in a complex way and can quickly evaluate all factors.

POSITION IN PAIR is one of the most important points. A good position gives the couple grace and lightness, improves balance, makes it easier to lead and allows the partner to keep in touch, especially in swing dances. The result of the competition often depends on the correct posture. Hence the old adage, "Constant work on posture is the key to improvement."

RHYTHM - if the couple does not dance to the music, no skill in any other aspect can hide or compensate for this. Music is everything!

LINE - by this we mean the length and stretch of the body from toe to head. Beautiful and well-executed lines, directly or indirectly increase the volume of the figures.

FRAME - the correct fixed position of the hands, established in closed dances. The line of the partners' hands should be straight from elbow to elbow. The hands should form a kind of oval, which, when the volume of the frame changes, should retain its shape so that the partners remain in the correct position relative to each other, do not fall out. The couple must be beautiful.

BALANCE. There are two types of balance - neutral and central. With central balance, the weight of the body is evenly distributed on both legs. In neutral - body weight on one leg. The whole dance is a transition from neutral to central balance and vice versa. If the couple is not in a state of balance, the dance becomes heavy, the lines break, in the end you can just fall.

DISTANCE BETWEEN PARTNERS - must be sufficient so that the partners do not interfere with each other. At the same time, one should not forget that if the distance is too great, it will be difficult for partners to find balance - the dance will lose its lightness.

MUSICALITY - all movements in the dance must correspond to the specifics of the music - strong beats stand out, weak ones are worked out smoothly. For example, in rumba, one step falls on the beat itself, and the duration of the note (the “and” count) is the reduction, the work of the hips. The longer the “and” count, the faster and more expressive the rumba. In tango, the legs dance quite viscous, and the head movements are very active. This achieves both speed and smoothness.

PERFORMANCE - are the couple dancing emotionally, showing the audience their attitude to the music, or are they gritting their teeth with an intelligent expression trying not to forget the composition?

ENERGY — The energy of dance captures the audience. I noticed that in jive there is always the brightest couple that wins this dance. But energy must be controlled. For example, powerful movement is very useful in the waltz and foxtrot, but only if it is achieved through swing, and not just stride length. The movements must match the music. For example, in a slow waltz, the accumulation of energy occurs due to the decrease between the counts of "three" and "times". And the release of energy at the count of "ones" should be controlled (so as not to slip through the count of two, which your obedient servant — AI often sins with) and be maintained when growing by "two" and "three". The same is true for other dances.

LEG AND FOOTWORK — sliding movement (as if on skis) of the foot on the floor in foxtrot gives smoothness; intentionally lifting the foot in tango emphasizes staccato; the correct work of the knees gives the rumba some “fashion”, and the tension of the socks is not a support for the leg, but an increase in the length of the line. The use of these four techniques and the correct work of the foot of the skating foot allows you to achieve a powerful and quick step.

SHAPE is a separate conversation. It is needed in order to elegantly show the partner to the audience and judges (for example, in the classic “cloak” figure for paso doble or after pivots in tango - there are a lot of examples). Shape is achieved in various ways. In the standard, the shape is achieved by stretching the lady up and to the right of the man.

INTRODUCTION — Well, I think everything is clear here. The only criterion is that the partner should be light. It is impossible to achieve lightness if it is not done correctly. Each person is individual, so the study of a partner is a long and hard, but very necessary work. It is extremely rare to achieve complete mutual understanding (such couples become great), more often partners simply adjust to each other.

FLOORCRAFT — "Vision of the parquet" This concept includes not only the ability to avoid a collision, but also the ability to dance non-stop surrounded by other couples when it seems that there is nowhere to go. This is where the dancing of the couple manifests itself - the partner must choose the right directions and lead the partner, and she, in turn, must understand what the partner wants from her in this or that situation.

STYLE OF THE COUPLE - How the couple looks together, costumes, behavior on the floor. This is also far from the most recent evaluation criterion.

Judges evaluate the above criteria differently. One may be interested in technique, another in choreography, a third in artistry or composition. All of these factors are important and should be evaluated. In practice, sometimes a couple receives incommensurable marks - from 1 to the last place. Dancers asking themselves the question: "What did the judge see that gave such a high (low) mark?" - must understand that any of the criteria could affect. Sometimes the correct work of the foot will not give such a high score as the accurate picking up of the legs in the 6th position.

The referee only sees the couple for a few seconds. At this point, a strong pair can make a mistake and get low scores, while a weak pair can show several elements cleanly and without errors and get high. It has an element of roulette.

Dancers, rest assured that every qualified judge judges you only by your work. Most judges value their reputation and do their work in good faith. Judges, of course, try to stretch their own, but professionals do it within reasonable limits. One way or another, not a single judge will be able to unequivocally pull you into first place or fill you up. Using the evaluation criteria described in this article usually guarantees the correct result.

Author: Dan Radler (translated by Alexy Ionov)

American Smooth

American Smooth is an incredibly popular variation of the European program in the USA, which includes waltz, tango, foxtrot, Viennese waltz. Gradually, American Smooth begins to develop in Russia, gaining more and more popularity due to its apparent lightness and entertainment. American Smooth differs from the European dances of the International Program, first of all, by the freer position of the partners, the absence of static figures. The couple has the opportunity to break contact from time to time. Leading with both the right and left hand encourages the use of various performances in pairs and provides great opportunities for improvisation, the implementation of creative ideas in the dance. American Smooth is fairly easy to learn and almost all dancers can learn the basics very quickly. At the same time, it is in this direction that it is easy to express one's dancing individuality, using new non-classical figures and supports that are not typical for the Standard.

[English] American Waltz]
1. An American ballroom dance of an improvisational character, which developed in the USA at the beginning of the 20th century on the basis of the Waltz-Boston. Musical size - ¾. The tempo is moderate, 30-40 beats per minute, sometimes with a slowdown at the end of the musical phrase. It is performed in pairs, with advancement along the line of dance. The dance is characterized by common elements of the American style of ballroom dancing: the absence of canons, frequent separation in pairs, the use of theatrical poses, poses, supports, etc.
2. Ballroom dance from the Smooth Style subgroup of the American competition program. Musical size - ¾. The pace is moderate, 30-40 beats per minute. It is performed in pairs, with advancement along the line of dance.
3. Compulsory dance in ice dancing to Waltz music. Musical size - ¾. The tempo is fast, 66 beats per minute. It is performed in the Waltz Position, going around the rink twice according to the established pattern of steps.

[English] American Foxtrot]
1. American improvised ballroom dance. Originated in the USA in the 1920s based on the Blues and earlier dances. The musical size is 4/4. The pace is slow or moderate. It is performed in pairs, with advancement along the line of dance.
2. A ballroom ballroom dance that is part of the Smooth Style subgroup of the American competition program. The musical size is 4/4. The pace is slow or moderate. Performed in pairs, elegantly and lyrically, moving along the line of dance.
The American Foxtrot uses two popular rhythms for basic movements, slow-slow-fast-fast and slow-fast-fast. The combination of long and short steps always looks interesting, and sometimes unexpected. The American Foxtrot is also characterized by the element of Brushing [from English. The Bruch - brush] - a passing light touch of the foot to the foot. They manage to use brushing even when stepping sideways.
Continuity of elements is common in all American dances. So, many movements of the American Waltz were almost immediately adapted to the slow-fast-fast foxtrot rhythm. Therefore, in the American Foxtrot, there are such dance moves as are typical of the American Waltz: the Bean Pod, the Simple Twinkle, and the Front Twinkles.

[English] American Tango]
10-20s based on Argentine Tango and French Tango. Musical size - 2/4. The pace is moderate. In addition to the well-known features inherent in Tango, it is characterized by theatrical expressive movements and extravagant mutual positions in a pair. Performers can dance in closed and open positions, as well as far away from each other.
2. A ballroom ballroom dance that is part of the Smooth Style subgroup of the American competition program. The musical size is 4/4. The pace is moderate, 26-30 beats per minute. It is performed in pairs, with advancement along the line of dance.
3. Compulsory dance in ice dancing. The musical size is 4/4. Tempo 24 beats per minute.
In 1856, one of the American dance manuals included a description of the "original South American dance" in 2/4 time. The dance arrangement for the ballroom, performed by M. Makovsky, was also given here. In fact, it was the first book description of the Tango dance. However, at that time, American society was not ready for rhythms and movements of this kind.
Tango remained completely unknown to the American public until the winter season of 1911-1912, when the Belgian Maurice Muve began to advertise it here. Such wonderful ballroom teachers as Albert Newman, Joseph Smith, Vernon and Irene Castle joined in the further process of popularizing the new dance. The latter succeeded especially effectively.
In the second decade of the 20th century, a wave of interest in ballroom dancing rose in the United States. Along with Ragtime and Tarky Trot, one of the elements of the American dance fever of 1913-1914. became Tango. Theaters staged musical plays with titles such as "Doctor Tango" or "Tango Teacher". In the cafe, drinks were served to the rhythms of Tango. Some tea and coffee houses were completely organized according to the principle of Tango-tea and Tango-coffee - between drinks you could dance. As always, there were no restrictions. The Mississippi River Shipping Company banned the playing of Tango music on ships during business hours, as hundreds of female employees dropped everything and began to dance at the first sound of it. Church ministers preached against Tango, immorally putting it in second place after drunkenness. But, as always, such sermons only inflamed interest in the dance. Tango began to be danced even in the church environment. So Mrs. Lillian Elbers, soloist of the church choir in Atlantic City, delivered an ultimatum: she would leave the group if the choir girls did not stop studying Tango. There is no need to explain how important a good soloist is to the success of a choir. However, Lillian was forced to leave!
The tango of those years was completely different from the modern, well-established versions. Then every dance teacher or good dancer sought to establish their dance style and their dance figures. New movements for Tango were introduced daily. Of course, no one thought about any standardization and compatibility of figures.
In 1914, dance fever in the USA subsided, but the American Tango remained one of the few ballroom dances that continued its further development. During the First World War and immediately after it, it acquired a standardized and somewhat simplified form. After the war, global trends in Tango changed. The "wild" pulsing rhythm of the Tango-Habanera has been transformed into more modern versions of music. For greater softness of movement in Tango, radically new dance elements were introduced: Countermovement of the Corps and Tango-Dro. So at 19In the 1930s, when interest in ballroom dancing revived among Americans, they were already introduced to another Tango.
American movie stars of the 1920s and 30s did a good job of creating the image of American Tango. Of the three varieties of Tango, English, Argentinean and French, according to the laws of Hollywood, all the most spectacular was taken. So, for example, they did it during the filming of the 1921 film called The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The tango, shown in it by Rudolph Valentino, founded a tradition that continued in American cinema until the colorfully magnificent dance of Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies and the inimitable Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers at 19The 1930s and 1950s finally defined the American film-dance ballroom style. Fred Astaire approved the choreographic structure of American Tango, which fully corresponds to the construction of musical phrases. Artistry, improvisation, extravagance have become more important here than the "English" restraint and perfected technique of steps. Each performance of American Tango performers turns into a bright show.
This is how Tango is described in American dance textbooks:
“Originally composed in 2/4 time, today tango is written in 4/4 time. This is a graceful progressive dance with the main rhythm "slow-slow-quick-quick-slow". The position of the couple in tango is unique: the partner and the partner are in closed contact "with no gap" between their bodies. The man's right hand hugs the woman more than usual, his left hand is also held closer to the body. The knees are bent more than in any other ballroom dance and remain in this state all the time - without ups and downs. Tango is a staccato dance. The crouching effect that many tango dancers achieve comes from dragging each slow step to the last possible before moving the other foot.

R. M. Stephenson, J. Iaccarino "The Complete Book of Ballroom Dancing". N.Y., 1980, p. 157

[English] Viennese Waltz, German Wiener Walzer, French Valse Viennoise]
1. The original version of the Waltz, which appeared in Vienna at the end of the 18th century and whose music gained immortality in the work of 19th century Viennese composers. Musical size - ¾. The pace is moderately fast. It is performed in pairs in the third position of the legs, moving in a circle. This version of the dance is now called the Old Viennese Waltz, not to be confused with its modern version.
2. Sports ballroom dance included in the European subgroup of dances of the International Sports Program. Musical size - ¾. The tempo is fast, 60 beats per minute. It is performed in pairs, in the sixth position of the legs, with a wide advance in a circle. During the competition, unlike other dances of the European subgroup, only one minute is allotted for the performance of the Viennese Waltz.
3. Compulsory sports dance on ice to Waltz music. Musical size - ¾. The tempo is moderately fast (52 beats per minute). It is performed in pairs, in the Waltz Position, throughout the entire space of the rink.
In the second half of the 19th century, based on the European Waltz in Two Pas, the slow Waltz-Boston dance appeared in North America. In various versions, he regularly appeared in European ballrooms, but gained great popularity there only in the 1910s. But in England it was accepted immediately, and already in the 1880s, local dance masters applied its principles to the usual Waltz a Three Pas. As a result, one of the most common waltz patterns was born, which in Europe was called the Boston Waltz, the English Waltz, the New Viennese Waltz, in order to distinguish it from the former, so-called Old Viennese Waltz. Subsequently, the epithet "new" was dropped.
"This dance owes its origin, in all likelihood, to the British, for when it appeared it was called the Boston Waltz.

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