Oasis of Line Dancing
Basic Line Dance Terminology
Following our article on how to read step sheets, we decided to go one step further to share the basic line dance terminology here.
Basic Line Dance Terminology
Most dances fall into one of four categories –One step, Two step , Cha cha or Waltz.
The first three are counted in groups of eight (8 beats to the bar of music) whilst the waltz is counted in groups of six (6 beats to the bar).
The steps of the dances are counted individually e.g. 1,2,3,4 or in double time e.g. 1&2, 3&4 or with a waltz the count is 123,456.
Some helpful hints to get you started--- Front is where your nose is, back is where your nose isn’t. left is where your right used to be and right is nowhere to be found! O.K, so much for the humour, please get the ball rolling
Single beat steps:
Step (1 count) place foot on floor and take weight onto it
Right vine (3 counts) step right foot to side, step left foot behind right, step right foot to side
Left vine (3 counts) step left foot to side, step right foot behind left, step left foot to side
Touch or tap (1 count) touch toe or heel to ground but don’t put any weight on it
Stomp (1 count) make a ‘stamping’ action (don’t stamp hard to hurt your foot)
Rock (1 count) to transfer weight from one foot to the other
Slide (1 count) to draw one foot next to the supporting foot
Toe strut (2 counts) place toe forward or backwards on floor then heel onto floor taking weight onto foot
weave left (4 counts) step right foot across in front of left, step left foot to left side, step right foot back behind left, step left foot to left side
weave right (4counts) step left foot across in front of right, step right to right side, step left foot back behind right, step right foot to right side
jazz box (4 counts) step right foot across in front of left, step left foot back, step right foot to right side, step left foot next to left. Also done leading with left foot i.e. start by crossing left in front of right
½ Monterey turn (4 counts) touch right toe to right side, on left foot make ½ turn over your right shoulder and step onto your right foot, touch left toe out to the side, step left foot next to right. Also done leading with left foot i.e. start by touching left toe to left side
¼ or ¾ Monterey (4 counts) are also executed in the same way but make a ¼ or ¾ turn to the appropriate wall
hip bumps bump hips to the right, left, backwards or forwards in time to the music
3 steps forwards, backwards, sideways or on the spot, executed within 2 beats of the music. The following instructions are all leading with the right foot, but are also danced leading with the left foot ( just the same steps but read left for right an right for left!) Confused? You ain’t tried dancing them yet! All counts are 1&2
Cha cha or triple step step right on count (1), left on count (&) and right foot on count (2) on the spot. Or (1) left, (&) right, (2)left on the spot
Forward shuffle (1) step forward on right foot, (&) step left foot to right heel, (3) step right foot forward
Backward shuffle (1) step back on right foot, (&) step left foot back to right toe, (3) step right foot back
Coaster step (1) step right foot back, (&) step left foot back next to right, (3) step forward on right foot
Sailor step (1) step right foot back behind left foot, (&) step left foot to left side, (3)step right foot next to left
Mambo step (1) step forward on right foot, (&) lift left foot and replace it back down on the same place, (3) step right foot back next to left
Back or side mambo are executed in the same way but step(1) to the back or to the side
Kick ball change (1)kick right foot forward, (&) step onto ball of right foot next to left foot and lift left foot slightly off the floor, (3) replace left foot onto floor on the same spot
Just a few more!
the smile Turn outside edges of the mouth in an upward direction. You may also open your lips slightly to reveal your teeth if you so wish!
The fun factor line dance is meant to be fun. Relax and enjoy—you’ll make some great friends and keep fit and young at heart at the same time!