Archive | March 2016

Ooh Ahh Line Dance

The instructional above is taught by Hassan.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Dance: Ooh Aah
Choreographer: Bernadette Bernette
Song: Beautiful Surprise
Artist: Tamia
Step Sheet: NA

Another favorite. I had never heard this song before, and fell in love with it.

I find the dance named both Ooh Aah and Ooh Ahh. I’m not sure which is correct (two a’s or two h’s?). I’m trying to connect with Ms. Bernette, the choreographer to find out. Also, maybe she has step sheets! πŸ™‚ UPDATE: I connected with Ms. Bernette and she confirmed that the dance is spelled with two h’s “Ooh Ahh”.Β  Also, no step sheets.

Two parts that especially stand out for me in this line dance. First was the set of steps “right left right left right” where you do sort of a stomp. In the instructional video above, you can see it at 20 seconds in.

The next set of steps that confounded me, which I finally got and totally love, is the sailor step in which we do a 1/2 turn. This part is taught at 2:16 in the video above.

This is one of the dances that I could do every week and never get tired of it. A lot of the dances are like this for me.

The video below is a good one for practicing Ooh Ahh. The video is produced by The Soul Steppers.

Christy Lane’s Complete Book of Line Dancing Review

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. πŸ™‚ 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.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

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:

  1. Think Positively: Have the right attitude, get rid of the doubts and know you can do this!
  2. 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!
  3. 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)
  4. Stand Tall: Proper alignment of your body will make you look better and allow you to use your muscles more efficiently.
  5. Look Good: Wear the right clothing, get good shoes that work for line dancing.
  6. 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!
  7. 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:

  1. Bus Stop
  2. Chattahoochee
  3. Cowboy Boogie
  4. Cowboy Hustle
  5. Cowboy Macarena
  6. Cowboy Motion
  7. Cowgirl’s Twist
  8. Coyote
  9. Double Dutch Bus
  10. Down and Dirty
  11. Electric Slide I
  12. Electric Slide II
  13. Flying Eight
  14. Freeze
  15. Hitchhiker
  16. Louie
  17. One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
  18. Reggae Cowboy
  19. Slappin’ Leather
  20. Smooth
  21. Tennessee Twister

Chapter 4 has 31 Intermediate Line Dances including:

  1. Alley Cat
  2. Amos Moses
  3. Black Velvet (Ski Bumpus)
  4. Boot Scoot Boogie I
  5. Copperhead Road
  6. Country Strut
  7. Cowboy Stomp
  8. Dance Ranch Romp
  9. Elvira
  10. Funky Cowboy I
  11. Funky Cowboy II
  12. Ghostbusters
  13. The Gilley
  14. Honky Tonk Attitude
  15. Honky Tonk Stomp
  16. Hooked on Country
  17. Livin’ La Vida Loca
  18. Night Fever
  19. Outlaw Waltz
  20. Power Jam
  21. The Redneck
  22. Rock Around the Clock
  23. Six Step
  24. Southside Shuffle
  25. Thunderfoot
  26. Tumbleweed
  27. Tush Push
  28. Waltz Across Texas
  29. Watermelon Crawl
  30. Wild Wild West I
  31. Wild Wild West II

Chapter 5 has 8 Advanced line dances including:

  1. Achy Breaky
  2. Boot Scoot Boogie II
  3. CHES
  4. Cowboy Cha-Cha
  5. Hip-Hop
  6. LeDoux Shuffle
  7. Romeo
  8. Walkin’ Wazi

Chapter 6 has 4 partner dances:

  1. Barn Dance Mixer
  2. Cotton-Eyed Joe
  3. Ten-Step
  4. 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”! πŸ™‚

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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Floatin Line Dance

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Instructional above is from Steph’s Line Dancing in San Antonio, Texas

Dance: Floatin’
Wall: 2
Level: Low Intermediate
Choreographer: Unknown
Song: Floatin’ (Available free with Amazon PRIME)
Artist: Charlie Wilson with Justin Timberlake & will.i.am
Step Sheets: None

This dance has been the source of a lot of laughter. Our instructor taught us this dance the typical way first, the way that Steph and her class are dancing in the video above. It is supposed to be danced in two lines. Things went crazy when our class formed two lines. πŸ™‚ Some of us were facing the wrong direction, some of us were stepping backwards into the person behind us, who was stepping backwards toward that person. We were all busting up laughing. It was the first time I had seen the ladies in my class mess up so it was an eye opening moment for me, to see that they weren’t perfect like I thought they were. πŸ™‚

It was even funnier that the side our instructor was in, that line was on track. It made me (several of us) realize how dependent we are on following our instructor’s feet! It was the first time I recognized that.

But we eventually got it. I like the challenge of this dance, and I like the song a lot as well. I decided to call it low intermediate because it does take some extra practice and brain power to master.

The video below is a nice representation of how the dance is done with two lines formed. Thank you to the Elusive Ladies from Houston Texas.

How To Improve at Line Dancing

Practice, Practice, Practice

The best way to get better at line dancing is to practice. In many things in life, you will find that repetition helps. Some people pick up line dancing very quickly. I have seen women come to my class and I am just amazed at how they can watch our instructor take us through the steps and then dance the dance.

One step in particular in the beginning blew my mind. It is called a weave step. You are walking to the right (or to the left) and crossing one foot behind or in front of the other one. I could not wrap my brain around it. When our instructor did it slowly, I could grasp it, but when we put it to the music, I was tripping all over my feet. Here is a video that demonstrates the weave step.

So what I did to ingrain the weave step into my mind is I started to practice every chance I got. For example, when I was walking down the hall at work (usually before anyone arrives for the day) I would walk sideways doing the weave step.

Another step I had trouble with was the “Touch right side, touch right together (toe turned in), touch right side, right to toe right, step right together” which is basically touching your toe to the right twice. But it seemed like my feet wouldn’t work that fast. So I spent some time just practicing stepping to the right twice, then stepping to the left twice, to the beat of the music.

It wasn’t enough help to get my practice during the song, I had to concentrate on those steps by themselves, in order to master them. It might sound funny, to need to master steps, but remember we are actually doing brain function training when line dancing.

Line dancing is so much fun for me. I have never been one to enjoy physical exercise and it has always been such a drag. And I am not one to go out someplace and freestyle dance. Line dancing gives me the structure I need, and I enjoy it so much that I look forward to my classes, and practicing on the weekends at home.

Do you pick up the steps for line dances quickly? Or do you need to practice? Let me know in the comments!

Player Line Dance

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Dance: Player Line Dance
Count: 48
Wall: 4
Level: Beginner
Choreographer: Terrance TJ Estell
Song: Hey Lover
Artist: Charlie Wilson
Step Sheet: NA
Beats per minute: 98
Begin step: 33 beats

The instructional above is by Linda Simms β€œThe Who Dat Teacher” from Let’s Mess It Up Line Dancing. Use the instructional to learn the steps, and then use the video at the bottom of this post to practice along with the group.

I have now learned another aspect of line dancing. When to start the steps! I wondered how does my instructor know when to start the dance? He always verbalizes a count down of 5, 6, 7, 8 and then we start, but it never occurred to me that he was counting prior to that! Some of our class members had mentioned that it was hard to know when to start the dance at another place they go to dance, and he has now started to teach us how to count the beats to know when to start the dance steps.

Player is another of my favorites, and I just love the song. I do recall that this dance was hard for me to get. That might have had something to do with the fact that my brain was still learning how to catch onto dance steps because after five months of weekly classes I am finding that I am picking up the steps much quicker, and am able to remember a series of steps. Seriously, in the beginning our instructor would show us three sets of steps and then “Let’s start over from the top” and I’d be “What were the first steps?!” But I can clearly the first steps I was able to learn for Player, it was the very simple first three steps and putting up my arms and going “Whoo!”

I can’t find step sheets for Player and I wish I could somehow cram all the steps into my head immediately so that I wouldn’t have to study so hard to figure the step sheets out because I would like to write the steps and share them as I publish each blog post. The biggest issue is the time that it takes. And it is like doing homework, which kind of takes the fun out of posting about the dances. I realize it is a learning curve and with time I will recognize the steps more easily and can transcribe them quickly, but in the meantime, there is that “time” issue again. πŸ™‚ I want to share the dances with you, but at the same time, would I rather spend my time sorting out step sheets, or practicing line dancing? The latter!

The last part of this dance I am actually still trying to get into my head. For one thing, I am still confused about which way we are heading when we do the vine, but I see from closely watching the videos that we are going counter clockwise. And the vine, then feet together, then apart, then start over. It’s very fast footwork, at least for my feet, but I love the challenge.

At a recent line dance party we did this dance and I was one of the few who knew it (for the most part), and could dance along while others stood by watching. I am always so thrilled with my accomplishments, especially since in the beginning I was not sure if I was going to be able to get it!

The video below is Linda Simms’ class.