First impressions and some questions

Hello! I've been a fan of country music for a long time, and this weekend I took the opportunity to go to a country bar/nightclub for the first time. It was a pretty wild time - rode the mechanical bull, danced on stage, learned what an oxygen bar is, and of course, listened to a great band all night. The thing that impressed me most though, was the line dancers who were there earlier in the night, before the younger crowds started filling up the place. I mean the ones who actually knew dance steps, rather than just bouncing and grinding at random on the big dance floor.

My question is: How does everybody know to do the same dance when a certain song comes on? Do they just follow whoever starts moving first, or is it more of a tempo thing, or do they follow a leader designated by some mechanism I couldn't see? I did try dancing along with them, and I just stumbled along by watching the feet of whoever was closest to me. My inexperience is an obvious factor, but even thinking back on it now, it boggles my mind how coordinated everyone else was.

I'm asking in the hopes that I might accelerate my own process of picking up some of these dances, because next time I go I'd like to have some semblance of an idea of what I'm doing!

PS: There was dance in particular that I really enjoyed, featuring these moves: (1) A four-beat step to one side, (2) a four-beat step to the opposite side, and (3) an additional four-beat step again in the same direction as number 2. The step was long and drawn out with a gradual dip and rise, and most people were doing some kind of funky shoulder shake. How might I find out the name of the song and/or the steps to the accompanying dance?

Thanks for your help!


Site Moderator
Staff member
perhaps the cupid is likely that all of these dances are either well known to the dancers and are specific to a particular beat that they recognize...time and lessons will do the same for you...welcome to DF


Active Member
The fun thing with line dancing is almost every bar/club that has CW dancing will have a line dance class at least once a week. There are a bunch of classic dances that are danced all over the nation and then some that are favorites of each club. Many aren't too hard to figure out. The lessons at the club are usually free after you pay the cover to get in.

Also, most of the cities have line dance clubs. The better line dancers I know all have a couple hundred dances/songs and routinely get together for classes just like the couples dancers do. The UCWDC (United Country Western Dance Council) website used to have a list of local clubs.

One great thing about line dancing is the skills you have to use for each dance are great training for couples dancing. Repeating the same sequence of turns every few measures is a great practice time.

Usually, the better couples dancers will be at the club fairly early in the evening when there is space on the floor to do more than survival dance. There is lots of crossover between the line dance and couples dancers.
Hope that helps a little?

Steve Pastor

Staff member
My question is: How does everybody know to do the same dance when a certain song comes on?
Probably the older, better dancers have been dancing at this place for a while. It could be years! They've probably had lots of lessons together, and when a dance is taught to a song, BINGO, that's the dance they do when that song comes on.
I'd say it's unusual for there to be only ONE dance for any given song, if you go to a different place.
It's kind of embarressing to run out onto the floor to do the dance YOU learned to the song, and realize that everyone else is doing something else.
I'll be going to Vegas soon, and figure there will be at least a few line dances that I will recognize, and be able to join in with.(Gilley's is gone, but there's a place south on the strip.)
Sometimes people will come in from somewhere else, and you'll have two line dances going on at the same time, plus partner dancers.
You can take lessons at that club. Or you can ask people the name of the dances you want to learn. Here's two sites where you can get "step sheets", if you're someone who can learn that way (some people don't seem to like it, or it doesn't work for them).

Don't be surprised, though, to find lots of "mutant" steps in dances, because that's the way people were taught that particular dance.

Lots of people laugh/look down on line dancing, but when you think about, and learn about how people danced throughout most of history, you realize that dancing was primarily a group activity until fairly recently.
And it's a really good way to get out on the dance floor even if you don't know anybody to ask to dance, or know how to do partner dances.
And, like Kayak wrote, it'll help teach you how to move in time to the music, if you don't know already.

P.S. Older people oftens equal better dancers equals I like my sleep and this is nothing new or unusual for me although I like it a lot.
P.S.S. Oxygen bar? Oy Oh Silver!

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