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Group dance

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Group dances involve many people dancing together, as opposed to individuals dancing alone.

American line dance

In line dances, the dancers stand in mixed lines (male and female), face the same direction and dance the same steps at the same time.

American line dance:

  • has its origins in folk dances
  • has some similarities to barn dance but does not use dance partners or live music
  • is usually danced to recorded music in bars, clubs, dance halls and fitness clubs worldwide
  • uses a caller - someone who ‘calls’ the moves and demonstrate the steps

American line dance music is mainly country and western, but other genres are used such as rock and roll and disco.

Country and western music:

  • uses simple melodies derived from American folk music
  • uses electric rock band instruments often combined with fiddle, banjo and steel guitar
  • lyrics tell a story, often sentimental and sometimes partly spoken rather than sung
  • common themes are of cowboys, deceived husbands or jilted women

American line dancing became more popular as a result of the John Travolta films Saturday Night Fever (which uses the line dance ‘hustle’) and Urban Cowboy. It was also popularised by the 1990s country music hit Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus, which had a line dance created for it.

A line dance has a number of counts (eg a 64-count dance) - the number of beats needed to complete one sequence of the dance.

A basic is one repetition of the main dance.

A restart is a point at which the basic dance sequence is interrupted and the dance routine starts again from the beginning.

American line dance steps

American line dancers often wear American country and western style clothes. Movement is concentrated on the legs and torso.

Dances are made up of movements called steps – there can be any number of movements in one step. Each dance consists of a number of walls. A wall is the direction in which the dancers face at any given time.

In a one-wall dance, the dancers face the same direction at the end of the sequence as at the beginning.

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