Country Line Dance Terminology

by Renee Miller Google
Country line dancing is choreographed to country and western music.

Country line dancing is choreographed to country and western music.

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Country line dancing is a popular competitive and recreational dance style. Among the hundreds of terms used in each dance, there are a several that are unique to country line dancing. Each term refers to a movement of the body or the feet.

Applejack

Applejack refers to a movement that begins with your weight on your left heel and the ball of your right foot. Shift the unweighted parts to the left and then move them back to starting position with the weight now reversed to the left ball and the right heel.

Boogie

The boogie is an important part of country music and country line dancing. A basic boogie is to lift your unweighted hip and move in the direction of the weighted foot. To boogie walk, step forward in the direction of the hip that is lifted. A boogie roll is a circular movement of the pelvis which moves up the body to the chest and shoulders.

Diagonal, Dwight and Draw

When diagonal is required in a country line dance, it refers to a diagonal movement. Draw, or drag, means to bring one foot, without carrying the weight, toward the foot that is weighted. This is typically done over two to three beats. The Dwight is a step where your left foot swivels with a heel-toe movement to shift your body sideways.

Heel Splits, Lifts and Stomps

Heel movements begin with feet together and your weight on balls of both feet. To do a heel split, move your heels apart to a 45 degree angle and then back together. To heel stomp, lift your heels from the floor, bending your knees, and than snap the heels back down to the floor. A heel lift is accomplished by lifting both heels from the floor and tapping in a bouncing action.

Bump, Hitch and Hinge

Many country line dances rely on subtle movements done between larger series of steps. The hip bump, for example, is a slight movement of the hips in a particular direction. A hitch is accomplished by lifting the knee of one leg. To do a hinge step, make a half turn on the ball of one foot in the opposite direction. For example, turn to the left on the ball of the right foot.

Rocking Chair

The rocking chair uses the rock step, which is creating a rocking motion by transferring the weight of your body from one foot to the other. Rock steps may be done forward and back, or sideways. The rocking chair begins with one foot out in front of your body. Rock your weight forward and back, typically for four beats or counts.

Strut, Swing, Scuff and Swivel

Struts, swings, scoots, scuffs and swivels aid in shifting to a new movement. To strut, touch one toe or heel on the floor and snap the other part of the foot down. A swing is to raise one foot and move it forward and back or side to side. Swiveling begins with both feet together, with your weight on the balls. Raise your heels and rotate your hips either right or left.

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