I have always been a self learner. Whenever I’m interested in something, I tend to immerse myself into it in as many ways possible. I want to learn all I can, as much as I can. When it’s something I want to learn about, the information just globs into my brain so easily. I love when that happens. 🙂 That’s where I am with line dancing. I want to learn dances, I want to watch people line dancing, I want to read about it, I want to know how it works, why it works and why people like to line dance. I want to know why I love it! And so in my quest for information, I went to Amazon to see what I could find.
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I did not find a lot of information about line dancing in the way of books. I know it is probably considered totally “old school” to love books, but I do. I find it very relaxing and enjoyable to just kick back with a book in my hands and have a leisurely read. The one I found, which I think is an absolute gem is entitled Christy Lane’s Complete Book of Line Dancing. This second edition was written in 2000, which was 16 years ago! Just a heads up, this book is not available brand new. However, the super fun part about there being only used copies of this book available is that you can get a copy for just one penny! Well, you’ll need to pay shipping of $3.99 so four bucks total. But still. Wow.
If you prefer soul line dancing (aka urban or R&B line dancing) don’t let the country themed cover put you off. This book is chock full of great information for line dancing, in my opinion.
Here’s a quick run down of the chapters.
Chapter 1 discusses line dancing, why are people so crazy about it and how to succeed at this very fun pastime. Here are nutshell versions of the seven ways to success with line dancing:
- Think Positively: Have the right attitude, get rid of the doubts and know you can do this!
- Start at the Beginning: Begin with the easy dances, don’t let the “born dancers” on the floor intimidate you. Just get on the wood and get stepping!
- Go in the Right Direction: If you’re in a class, this shouldn’t be a concern, but in this step Christy explains floor etiquette when it comes to mixed dancing (couples dancing along with line dancers)
- Stand Tall: Proper alignment of your body will make you look better and allow you to use your muscles more efficiently.
- Look Good: Wear the right clothing, get good shoes that work for line dancing.
- Listen to the Music: You’ll hear people say they have no rhythm. In this step, Christy gives a few tips for learning how to hear, then respond to the beat of the song. Good stuff!
- Have Fun: Line dancing is a stress buster! It’s almost impossible to think about your problems when your brain and feet are moving to the music. It’s great exercise, and a way to experience personal satisfaction from your accomplishments.
Chapter 2 is “Know Your Lingo” which goes into detail on how to read a foot map, plus line dance terminology.
Chapters 3, 4, 5 and 6 focus on the line dances! There are 64 in all and Christy has arranged them in order from beginner dances to intermediate to advanced. She includes foot maps with detailed descriptions, plus she suggests music for each dance. Some dances have several songs each that they can be danced to.
Chapter 3 includes 21 beginner dances including:
- Bus Stop
- Cowboy Boogie
- Cowboy Hustle
- Cowboy Macarena
- Cowboy Motion
- Cowgirl’s Twist
- Double Dutch Bus
- Down and Dirty
- Electric Slide I
- Electric Slide II
- Flying Eight
- One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
- Reggae Cowboy
- Slappin’ Leather
- Tennessee Twister
Chapter 4 has 31 Intermediate Line Dances including:
- Alley Cat
- Amos Moses
- Black Velvet (Ski Bumpus)
- Boot Scoot Boogie I
- Copperhead Road
- Country Strut
- Cowboy Stomp
- Dance Ranch Romp
- Funky Cowboy I
- Funky Cowboy II
- The Gilley
- Honky Tonk Attitude
- Honky Tonk Stomp
- Hooked on Country
- Livin’ La Vida Loca
- Night Fever
- Outlaw Waltz
- Power Jam
- The Redneck
- Rock Around the Clock
- Six Step
- Southside Shuffle
- Tush Push
- Waltz Across Texas
- Watermelon Crawl
- Wild Wild West I
- Wild Wild West II
Chapter 5 has 8 Advanced line dances including:
- Achy Breaky
- Boot Scoot Boogie II
- Cowboy Cha-Cha
- LeDoux Shuffle
- Walkin’ Wazi
Chapter 6 has 4 partner dances:
- Barn Dance Mixer
- Cotton-Eyed Joe
- Traveling Cha-Cha
Here are a few that include soul music for the dances (indicated in the lists above by the bold font); however, my understanding is that it is fairly common for there to be different songs that will work for each line dance (although some dances were created specifically for one song so those wouldn’t work). Christy offers some tips in the book, one thing you need to do is figure out beats per minute. More on that in another post.
Chapter 7 discusses developing technique and style. In this chapter Christy discusses Technique, Style, Variations and Attitude. This was definitely one of my favorite chapters as I need help with my technique “flair”! 🙂
Chapter 8 is for instructors. Christy discusses finding a facility, what kind of equipment you might need, your music, attire, class format, teaching in public schools and additional suggestions. Since I aspire to become an instructor eventually, this was a very helpful chapter as well.
I hope you have enjoyed this review! Head on over to Amazon and get yourself a copy of Christy Lane’s Complete Guide to Line Dancing today!
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