Archive | December 2018

What if You Don’t Like a Line Dance?

Dance Class

It’s going to happen. You’re going to come across a line dance or two or three that you don’t care for, or maybe even straight out dislike. Maybe you don’t like the music;  some music is going to move you to your core, other music just won’t. I have learned for myself that much of whether I love, like or dislike a line dance relies heavily upon the music.

Or maybe you don’t like the moves.

What do you do if you don’t like the music or the line dance?

The solution is easy, sit it out.

This is the perfect option for parties or a line dance conference.  Typically you’ll be dancing for hours in a situation like this so it’s a great chance to sit for a few minutes and catch your breath. Maybe you should visit the little girl’s room because who knows when your next favorite line dance will start and you’ll be racing to the floor.

But what if you’re in a class? The right thing to do in this case is to learn the dance, and dance with your class. Why? Here are some reasons:

Respect For Your Class Instructor

It’s disrespectful to your instructor to sit out for a dance you don’t like just because you don’t like it. Your instructor took the time to learn this dance and not only learn it, but commit it to memory so that he or she can teach it to you step by step, and maybe has even memorized the right words/phrases to call out the steps.

It’s not as easy as you might think to teach line dancing. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not terribly hard, but it does take time and effort. That is, if you want to do it right. You’re an instructor, you should take pride in what you do. Learn whatever you can about line dance and give your students the best experience you can. I have been very lucky to have a professional, empathetic instructor who shines much brighter than most other instructors I’ve known.

The next time you don’t like a line dance, remember your instructor spent valuable time from his or her daily life just for the class and you.

Modify the Steps or Movements

Not liking the steps can often be related to physical discomfort, or simply an inability to perform the steps/moves. If your instructor is good at what she does, she will have alternative steps for you to do. If she doesn’t volunteer alternative steps, ask. A good instructor should know which steps can be a challenge and have alternatives. If she doesn’t already have  them, she should be able to quickly come up with alternative steps.

Let’s say doing a full turn makes you dizzy. There are ways to counteract the dizziness such as “spotting” (read more about that here: Ballroom Turns and Dizziness), and building a tolerance but your instructor should be able to help you figure out what to do so that you can just step in place. Full turns often require four counts, so it might be as easy as stepping in place four times. You’ll stay facing north, the rest of the room turns and you all end up facing north.

Maybe you can’t perform or don’t like the movement for some steps. As an example at times my back feels tight and it feels uncomfortable to bend at the waist, so I just stay upright. Some line dances have you bumping and grinding to the floor but if you might end up stuck, just don’t go so far.

Working Your Brain

Even if you don’t like the line dance or the music, you are still learning and perfecting line dance steps. Steps that you’re going to recognize in other line dances. Every single time you line dance, you get better at it. Every single line dance you learn, you strengthen your brain and memorization ability. You may even have to try a little harder without that oomph of joy from loving the music. Did you know you’re also strengthening your willpower by this simple act of pushing through something which is not really that unpleasant. After all, it is line dancing.

It’s Still Exercise

Taking those steps and working that dance is still exercise, even if you aren’t 100% into it.

I will be honest with you… I have never liked exercise. I could even go so far as to say I hated it. Even as a young child I had low energy and you would find me reading a book any day over physical exercise. But line dancing? I enjoy it so much that I don’t even consider it to be exercise. But there is a little voice in my head that is shouting for joy that the body is moving!

Maybe It’s Time to Find a New Class

If you find yourself  in a situation where you know you love line dancing but are disliking the class, it might be time to find a new class. I know line dance classes are far and few between so we can’t be too choosy. But this is an extreme solution. Hopefully there is just a random song once in awhile that you don’t like.

What You Should Not Do

Going back to the first reason, respect for your instructor… never complain out loud that you don’t like this line dance. Ditto for the dancer standing in line next to you. There’s no reason to say a word to anyone, keep it to yourself. You can do anything for 5 minutes at a time so just tell yourself it will be over soon.

Happy Line Dancing!

Stroll Along Cha Cha Line Dance

YouTube video performance (above): Kenny J Dancers
YouTube video performance instructions (below): Island Station
Choreographer: Rodeo Cowboys & John Sandham
Song used by Kenny J:  Try My Side of Love
Artist: Chi-Lites
Step sheet:

Tucka (Tucker) Soul Line Dance

You’ll notice this one doesn’t fall into my “favorite” category.

I don’t have to love every single line dance that I learn. It’s okay to not like every line dance keeping in mind that I’m still working my brain, I’m still getting exercise and every line dance I memorize makes me a better line dancer. 🙂

Although I must say the energy in the group dancing in the top video makes me like this line dance a little bit more.

YouTube video performance (above): And 5,6,7,8 Line Dance Class
YouTube video performance instructions (below): Archie B Experience
Choreographer: K.O.L.D (Jero Green)
Song: Work It Out
Artist: Tucka

SOSU Leave It Smokin’ Soul Line Dance

One of my current favorites, this song has more than one line dance. The one above is the one which I have learned. When I attended my first line dance convention in 2017, I found that there is a solution for songs with different line dances. The floor is split into however many different versions will be danced. I don’t remember the name of the line dance but the one I remember in particular had SIX variations, so the room was split into six sections.

Whenever this song starts at line dance class, I feel like such a goofball because my hands fly to my mouth, my eyes light up and my face cracks into a huge smile. It made me wonder if listening to music can cause a person’s body to release endorphins and yes, that happens! Our body releases dopamine, the “feel good” hormone. No wonder I feel so happy when I listen to line dance music, and especially when I’m able to dance with my line dance family. I am so grateful to be blessed with a great group of dancers that are passionate about line dancing.

Just a snippet from article I read about how music can make us happy – note that it doesn’t work if you don’t like the music or if you only slightly like the music:

Subsequently we found that listening to what might be called “peak emotional moments” in music — that moment when you feel a “chill” of pleasure to a musical passage — causes the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, an essential signaling molecule in the brain. ~New York Times “Why Music Makes Our Brain Sing

YouTube video performance: And 5,6,7,8 Line Dance Class – Macon, Georgia
Choreographer: Lady D – NOLA
Song: Leave It Smokin’
Artist: Tamia

Odyssey Soul Line Dance

This line dance travels quite a bit so you may need more room than normal. Our class seems to always have a dance floor which is wider than it is long. Currently we dance facing the north, so we move to the west wall for Odyssey since our dance floor is longer that way.

I love watching Kenny J’s dancers. This is a smooth dance, the song goes on a long time. Good workout!

YouTube video performance: Kenny J Dancers
Choreographer: Odyssey Evans
Song: Last Night
Artist: Too Cold
Album: Cityscapes 2010

Also danced to Beyoncé – Deja Vu

Here is an instructional video: