What is Line Dancing?

 A line dance is a choreographed dance with a repeated sequence of steps in which a group of people 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.  Line dancers are not in physical contact with each other.

Although line dancing is associated with country music and dance, it has similarities to folk dancing.  Many folk dances are danced in unison with dancers arranged in one or more rows and often connected with the dancers next to them; while these rows are described as "lines," they may curve, corner, or otherwise be nonlinear in the geometric sense. The Balkan countries, among others, have a rich tradition of line dance surviving to the present. These folk line dances are also performed in the international folk dancemovement. Folk line dances have many forms: pairs of lines in which the dancers face each other, or a line formed into a circle, or the line follows around the dance floor. The dancers may hold hands with their neighbors, or use an arm-on-shoulder hold, or hold their neighbor's belts.  The absence of a physical connection between dancers is, however, a distinguishing feature of country western line dance. Line dances have accompanied many popular music styles since the early 1970s including pop, swingrock and rolldiscoLatin (Salsa), and Jazz.

Line dancing now has very traditional dances to country music, and not so traditional dances to non-country music. It now uses more than just the "stereotypical" country music, in fact line dancers dance to most styles of music: country as well as modern pop, Irish, Latin just to name a few.

 Line dancing is practiced and learned in country-western dance bars, social clubs, dance clubs and ballrooms worldwide. It avoids the problem of imbalance of male/female partners that plagues ballroom/swing/salsa dancing clubs. It is sometimes combined on dance programs with other forms of country-western dance, such as two-step, and western promenade dances, as well as western-style variants of the waltzpolka and swing.

 Spokane Area Council, Spokane, Washington