Dance Steps for Rock Music

by Michael Monet
Rock dance has its roots in the swing style Lindy hop.

Rock dance has its roots in the swing style Lindy hop.

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Rock music is loud, fast-paced and energetic. While the sounds of rock music make you want to move, you may find it difficult to determine how to move to such rhythms. Prepare to become a master at dancing to rock music by starting with the upbeat blues dance style, Lindy hop -- the root of rock music and dance. Use this knowledge to dance to modern rock tunes.

Lindy Hop

Lindy hop dance emerged in the 1800s with the Cakewalk, Charleston and Black Bottom, according to the Kansas City Lindy Hop Society. In 1920s, Lindy was taken into the ballroom as the first style of dance to involve partner stunts. Along with fast-paced swing moves, leading dancers would throw their partners over the shoulder, under the legs and around the body. Lindy hop begins with mastering the basic rock step, triple step pattern. The rock step takes the leader's left foot back, then transfers the weight back on the right foot in the front. The triple step following is left-right-left. For the follower, these steps are the exact opposite so that the feet of the dancers match when face-to-face. Once you master this step slowly, speed up to match fast-paced swing songs. Turns, lifts, jumps and throws are then incorporated. Learn basic Lindy steps and watch Lindy dance videos to get the feel of this style, which led the way for rock music.


A few basics must be mastered before you can take your moves out in public. In the tradition of Lindy hop and rock 'n' roll, study the fundamentals of the evolution of rock dance. For the first time, blues and rock 'n' roll inspired dancers to move their entire bodies, writes the Kansas City Lindy Hop Society. The arms, legs and torso freely bend and unbend in angular patterns. The hips move freely forward, backward and side to side. The body alternates between periods of fluidity with periods of stamping, stomping, jumping and stopping.

Modern Rock

The rock music of today lends itself to specific moves not seen in Lindy or swing dancing. These include raging, fist pumping and head banging. Raging is simply jumping up and down in time to the music. As you jump, incorporate fist pumping and head banging also in time with the music. Like Lindy, dancing to modern rock music is simultaneously frantic and controlled. Raging and head banging off beat is not considered dancing. To head bang properly, take an athletic stance, tilt your torso forward and move your head down toward the floor as though you are flinging your hair forward; be cautious of doing this too hard and causing injury. Long hair is useful for this style of rock dance. Alternate raging and fist pumping with head banging.

Rock Concerts

Rock concerts give concert-goers a chance to rage, fist pump and head bang in time with one another. Unique aspects of rock dance come out when rockers get together in a single room, entranced by the frantic and ear-blasting sounds of their favorite band. This is where you get a chance to mosh and crowd surf. Moshing is simply raging in a group of people. As you mosh, you jump up and down in time to the music while bouncing off of other people in the mosh pit, or large gathering of moshers. To crowd surf, make your way to the stage and jump off so that the crowd must catch you and push you along on their outstretched hands. Keep in mind that one or both of these moves might be banned at the particular concert you're attending. In either situation, you face the possibility of getting hurt. Be mindful of yourself and others.

Photo Credits

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