BEGINNERS GUIDE TO LINEDANCING
TIPS AND INFO FOR BEGINNERS.
Ask questions! Ask for a step or sequence to be repeated if you dont ask you dont get. Dont be embarrassed by asking. Others probably need the same help and may just be too self conscious to ask! Instructors want to help. The speed and detail in which we may be teaching at any class varies depending on the level of the class. Always try to come to an appropriate level class.
Be patient! You would be one in a million if you walked onto the dance floor for the first time and could instantly do it perfectly. Take home step sheets, if offered, or obtain copies from web sites (see link on my website, listed above). Practice the dances, repetition helps. No one is perfect. Just think of those little errors as new variations. Dont give up!
Come often to classes! If you really want to become proficient, come on a regular basis. If you can find a class or a place to dance, try twice a week.
Take the alternative! If youre new to line dancing, I will at times give easy alternatives for more intricate steps. Take them. Add the original steps back in when youre more comfortable with the dance. Keep your steps small. You will be able to maintain your balance better and be able to fix your problems more easily. Keep your knees soft (dont lock the knees). You will be able to make transitions more quickly.
Turn technique! Learn good turn technique. Turning takes practice. Sorry, theres no easy way to learn except do it.
Learn terminology! It will seem like a foreign language at first. And of course there is that pesky lag time between when you hear the words and the meaning gets to your feet. And then you still need to actually move your feet. Dont worry, it will come. Be patient.
Music variety! Line dancing is no longer just country. Its done to all kinds of music from pop to Latin with plenty in between, you name it and theres probably a line dance to it.
DANCE FLOOR ETIQUETTE.
When you start to attend linedance socials or even linedance weekend breaks the following rules of linedance will help. They might be common sense but even seasoned line dancers can forget:
* Dance in lines! - we are not here to Squiggle Dance.
* Listen to the DJ to know what dance is being played, and for any floor-splits being called, it will help you ensure that you are doing the same dance as the person next to you.
* Ensure that if you are sitting at the edge of the dance floor, your chair does not block anyone if you are getting up to dance, please just push your chair under the table to allow people to walk past.
* Move forward when asked by the DJ - you may feel comfortable in your current position on the floor, but other dancers may be struggling for space behind you.
* Leave the dance floor when the music ends, unless you are staying up for the next dance
* Be aware of your surroundings - remember to take smaller steps when a new dance is being taught, or a popular dance is being played (the dance floor may be fuller than normal) and NEVER kick too high or jump with both feet off the floor (its not a gymnastics class!!)
* Walk across the dance floor when music is playing to reach the other side of the Hall as this is dangerous not only to yourself but to other dancers who may not see you - you should ALWAYS walk around, not cut across.
* Try to join an existing line once a dance has started - you can dance in ANY line, not just the one with your friends in it! There are no Reserved signs for places on the dance floor.
* Try to join an existing line where there is not enough space for you to do so ... you wouldnt like someone to push in beside you, so please dont do it to anyone else!
* Bend down in the middle of the floor to tie the laces on your sparkly dance shoes- this is very dangerous as you immediately become a hazard to the other dancers moving around you.
* Carry drinks across the dance floor at ANY time whether there are people dancing or not ... this causes a slip hazard for EVERYONE - all spillages should be cleaned immediately
* A floor-split is when 2 dances are being done at the same time to the same piece of music - this will almost always be split between front & back. It is VERY important that if you are joining the rear of the front dance, you MUST leave space between yourself & the front row of the back dance to ensure that no-one collides once both dances have begun.
* You may very occasionally find that partner-dancing is being done around the edge of the
dance floor. It is acknowledged that partner dancers have the right-of-way, so just be aware of this if you are dancing in a line bordering the edge of the dance floor.
* Please remember everyone was a beginner once, and that newcomers should be encouraged - but similarly, please dont get up for a dance that you dont know ... you may become a hazard as other dancers move around you, or if you then try to exit from the dance floor in the middle of the song.
* It is courteous to apologize to a fellow dancer if you bump into them, or kick them accidentally (unless you dont like the person, in which case you should always seek to blame someone else! Ha ha).
BUT MOST OF ALL HAVE FUN ON THE DANCE FLOOR
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