Many dance experts agree that line dancing as we know it originated in Europe as Folk Dancing, also called Tribal Dancing in many other cultures and countries. Others say that the English Country Dances, or Contra Dances, are the basis for our line dancing. Contra dancing was performed with two lines facing each other - males in one line and females in the other. The head couple comes together and dances down the middle between the two lines and then separate at the end of the line and returns to their own lines. Then the next couple begins.
Line dancing, as we know it was probably born in Nashville Tennessee in the 1980s when Jim Ferrazano supposedly wrote the line dance steps to "Tush Push" on a napkin. The dance was then tested on the dance floor by Melanie Greenwood, a now-famous line dance choreographer. Some say this is the first instance of a choreographed line dance. Line dances were not always done to Country & Western music. Many were done to popular music. Nowadays, line dancing is popular using both Country & Western music and contemporary music.
Health Benefits of Dancing:
1. Keeps You Young. Dancing is tremendously beneficial in keeping us young. It retards the aging process immensely. It benefits our heart, cardiovascular system and increases our lung capacity
2. Strengthen Bones and Lubricates Joints. Dance aids in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Dance also keeps joints lubricated, which helps prevent arthritis.
3. Burns Calories. Dance exercises our bodies to allow for increased circulation. It helps us burn those calories away, while improving our stamina. It is estimated that dance burns anywhere from 5 to 10 calories per minute depending on speed and intensity
4. Improves your Blood. New research has discovered that it is necessary to measure both good and bad cholesterol levels when determining our health. Dancing aids in lipid control, which raises our HDL (good cholesterol), and lowers our LDL (bad cholesterol). Dancing is also great for diabetics because it aids in blood sugar control.
5. Sharpens Memory. Dance improves our memory by making us recall steps, routines, and dance patterns making it a great mental exercise for our brains. The big benefit is that increasing mental exercise keeps your mind quick, alert and open.
6. Increases Balance.Balancing yourself in one position may be easy, but balancing in the numerous types of positions involved in dancing is much more difficult. This strengthens our stabilizer muscles, while protecting our core and keeping us less prone to injury in our daily lives. Dancing also aids in co-ordination and helps strengthen our reflexes. It is a great way to keep our Central Nervous System and Peripheral Nervous System in tip-top shape by improving the connection of our bodies to our mind.
7. Enhances Social Life. Dancing is recreational, entertaining, and a social activity. Dancing is something you can do with large groups of people in a social setting. It can help you make new friends with common interests.
8. Promotes Tolerance. Dancing has no cultural barriers. People from all parts of the world, with different ideologies, meet on the dance floor. Cultural interaction improves our health by expanding our mind and sharing our spirit!
9. Makes You Happier. Dance elevates our mood and increase positive emotions by raising our endorphin levels. This is what allows us to reduce stress and depression - two of our immune system's biggest enemies! It helps us develop and strengthen our self-confidence and self-discipline. It improves the harmony between our mind and body, giving us a sense of well-being.
What is Line Dancing?
A line dance is a choreographed dance with a repeated sequence of steps in which a group of people, who are not in physical contact with each other, dance in one or more lines or rows without regard for the gender of the individuals, all facing either each other or in the same direction, and executing the steps at the same time to the beat of the music. These line dance step patterns are fixed and easy to learn so everyone could participate.
Line Dancing TIPS:
· Dances are performed to an eight count beat. · It is very important that the dance steps stay with the beat and rhythm of the song. · Saying the steps in your head or quietly to yourself can help keep you stay on the beat. · If the song has a quicker beat, you need to take smaller or shorter steps. · A good strategy if you get lost is to either look at a teacher to see what steps they are doing or join in at a dance sequence that you know the best like at toe touches or grapevines. · Adding spins to the grapevines or arm movements like the lasso can enhance the dance and make it more enjoyable to do. Teachers appreciate and reward personal pizzazz. · ENTHUSIASM while doing a dance can help increase assessment grades. · There are 4-Wall and 2-Wall dances.
Four Wall Dances: During the length of a song, the same sequence of steps is done to each of the four walls of the room.
Cowboy Motion: Grades 6th, 7th, and 8th Grapevine to the right (clap) Grapevine to the left (clap) Back, two, three, stomp Toe, Toe (left foot off to the side), Heel, Heel (left foot in front) Toe, Heel, Switch Rock, Rock (turn into the next wall and start the dance again from the beginning)
Ghostbusters: Grades 6th, 7th, and 8th Walk (forward with right foot), two, three, Kick (with left foot) Back, two, three, switch Grapevine to the right (clap) Grapevine to the left (clap) Heel, heel, toe, stomp (with right foot) Swivel, Swivel (turning to the next wall), Kick, Kick Back, two, three, together Start dance again from the beginning.
Two Wall Dances: During the length of a song, the same sequence of steps is done to two of the walls of the room.
Black Velvet: Grades 6th, 7th, and 8th Skip/gallop to the right, Skip/gallop to the left, step (with right foot) turn/pivot (to the back wall -bleachers) Skip/gallop to the right, Skip/gallop to the left, step (with right foot) turn/pivot (to the front wall - stage) Box, two, three, four (hitting the four corners of your imaginary box on the floor) Box, two, three, together Point (right), Point (left), Point (right), Point (left) Kick-ball-chain, Kick-ball-chain, step (with right foot), turn/pivot (to the back wall - bleachers) Kick-ball-chain, Kick-ball-chain, step (with right foot), turn/pivot (to the front wall – stage) Start the dance again from the beginning.
Tennessee Twister: 8th Grade Only Start facing the Stage: Left, Left, Right, Right (Heel Taps - Bouncing on the balls of your feet) Left, Right, Left, Right (Heel Taps - Bouncing on the balls of your feet) Heel, heel, toe, toe (with Right Foot) Step (forward toward stage with right foot), together, step, turn (swing left leg turning toward bleachers) Step (forward toward bleachers with left foot), together, step, turn (swing right leg turning toward stage) Grapevine to the right (clap), scuff and turn, grapevine to the left (both grapevines are going toward the same wall) Start again, now facing the Bleachers (You alternate doing the whole dance between facing the stage and then the bleachers.)