This is where you start out, the dances that teach you the basic steps of line dancing, take the time to learn the novice dances the rest will fall into place if you have a good understanding of the basics. With line dancing the temptation is to learn that really nice dance that you have just seen but trust me learn it later when you have mastered the basic steps your enjoyment of this pastime will know no bounds. Always Remember - Have fun and keep smiling.
Back in 2003 Val Myers stated that "It is often suggested that dances are more difficult today". Well if that was true in 2003 what must it be like for beginners today, on my travels I quite often see teachers getting up and saying to people this is a really easy dance so if you've ever fancied trying line dancing now is the time, then proceed to teach a dance that when I started line dancing would have been considered Intermediate.
Now don't get me wrong I love anyone who wants to spread the message about this fabulous pastime that we all enjoy so much, but please give beginners a chance. I believe (and I'm sure you can all come up with anecdotal evidence to prove I'm wrong ) that dances longer than 24 steps for an absolute beginners are counter productive it makes the average person think that they will never get it, instead why not try some nice 16 step dance to some great country music to hook them in, because that's what got me and all my friends. In fact most people I know that used to line dance only stopped when the dances started getting more difficult and the music changed radically from mostly country to mostly pop and latin.
Don't you hate it when people hark on about the old days but if I can harp back to 1996 when Linedancer Magazine started, in August of that year they produced a line dancing chart and the top ten most popular dances that year were
1 Black Coffee (1996 - Dance of the Year) (still being danced)
2 Midnight Waltz (still one of my favourite dances)
3 Tush Push (Still being danced)
4 Easy Come, Easy Go (Still being Danced)
5 Walk The Line (Still being Danced)
6 Kelly's Cannibals (rarely seen these days)
7 Flying Eights (not seen this one danced for years)
8 Cowgirl Twist (Still gets pulled out at Socials and Western Clubs)
9 One Step Forward (Still very popular)
10 East Coast Swing (Not seen this one )
What all these dances have in common is they are all to country music 3 of them are less than 32 counts most have beginner in the description and we would have been taught them for weeks and danced them at least twice a night so they stuck. Some other popular dances that year were Cowboy Strut (still danced) Cowboy Charleston (Still danced) and Hooked on Country (still rolled out at Socials)
It should be obvious that line dancers in 1996 were learning easier dances over a longer period. It was so much fun as well no taking our dancing seriously it was all about the social side of dancing.
Don't get me wrong! Todays choreographers are so clever they listen to the music and add the tags and restarts where they are needed, back in the day we just used to dance through bridges etc but to be quite honest the average dancer never even noticed. At worst you thought I'm struggling to make this fit then you were passed that bit and you danced on back in time to the music. No headaches no memory problems.
You'll be pleased to know that's the lecture over, well almost the aim of this is rant is to try to get people back into line dancing and the one's we've got to stay. I notice more and more dances are being written to really bad pop music when Country music is probably going through one of it's biggest revivals with some great artist and bands appearing on the scene with some great new songs, so come on you choreographers get writing to some of the great country artist and where you can cut out the tags and restarts and let's get people smiling again. Remember Disco music belongs just there not on a line dancing floor.
If you want to find out more about Val Myers and her great idea you can find it here ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS:
A SUGGESTED TEACHING APPROACH created by Val Myers and published in Line dancer magazine in 2003
Choreographed by Pat Meikle
Description: 32 count, 4 wall, beginner line dance
Music: One Night At a Time - Latest Greatest Straitest Hits by George Strait
HEEL STEP HEEL HOOK SHUFFLE FORWARD
1-2 Touch right heel forward; step back next to left foot
3-4 Touch left heel forward: step back next to right
5-6 Touch right heel forward; hook right heel in front of left leg
7 & 8 Shuffle forward (right-left-right)