Baby Why Me Soul Line Dance

I have been line dancing for over three years now! I recognize this line dance as the first one that I’ve been able to learn simply by observing this group’s performance, instead of needing the dance to be broken down. It could be that the line dance is ultra beginner, but also I notice my brain is starting to be able to pick out steps when I’m watching a line dance. I am still no good at learning on the wood.

One of my classmates shared this line dance with our instructor as one that looked fun and easy. It has been in our rotation for a couple of months now.

YouTube video performance: And 5,6,7,8 Line Dance Class – Macon, Georgia
Choreographer: Answorth Robinson
Song: Why Me
Artist: Reggie P.

Smile Soul Line Dance

I have been line dancing two years, and have many favorites! Here is my favorite line dance from August 2017.

The most important thing you should do while dancing this line dance is:


Choreographer: Troy Jones of Dance Without Drama

Description: 32 Count, 4 Wall, Intermediate Soul Line Dance

Music: “Smile” by Leven Kali

Intro: 64


1-4 Step right side, cross left over, step right side, touch left together

5-8 Turn 1/4 left and step left forward, turn 1/2 left and step right back, turn 1/4 left and step left side, touch right together


1-2 Step right forward, step left forward

3&4 Triple in place right-left-right

5-6 Turn 1/2 left and step left forward, turn 1/2 left and step right back

7&8 Triple in place left-right-left


1-2 Touch right forward, step right together

3-4 Touch left forward, step left together

5&6 Right sailor step

7&8 Left sailor step


1-2 Touch right forward, step right together

3-4 Touch left forward, step left together

5&6 Right sailor step

7&8 Left sailor step turning 1/4 left


How to Choreograph a Line Dance

As of the writing of this post I have choreographed one line dance. This first one is an ultra-beginner, four wall line dance and I created it specifically to aid my dancers who have little or no vision, in making turns. So, I have just a tiny bit of experience choreographing, but I will share with you the sites I have found to be helpful in choreographing a line dance.


First, Robert Royston does a very nice job of outlining the process for choreographing a line dance.

This video is great for getting you started and may be enough. But if you want to delve deeper into choreographing your first line dance, continue reading.


Next, I recommend this article from Max Perry. Click on this link, and you will be taken directly to a PDF: Choreography Basics by Max Perry.

A snippet from the article:

“CHOREOGRAPHY BASICS By: Max Perry To choreograph an effective routine, a dancer will use several techniques to create a dance that will not only fit the music, but will feel good when danced. The tools we use as choreographers are knowledge of the dance components, a basic idea of phrasing music, and an idea of how the material is to be used.”

With those two under your belt, I invite you to read this article from Norm from Dance with Norm. This link will take you directly to a PDF entitled Basic Line Dance Terminology. This article will help you to know the names of various line dance steps. Bear in mind that country line dance steps may have a different name than the same steps when soul or urban line dancing.

This site also includes a list of line dance steps: Roots Boots Line Dance Terms and Definitions.


Next, I want to touch on step sheets. First off, it is not necessary to write step sheets; however, I feel it is an important way to immortalize your line dance.

I will admit it is a challenge to even know to read them, let alone write them.

One big challenge in reading step sheets is that the exact same steps can have different names.

When you’re writing step sheets, you want to be as clear as you possibly can and Peter Blaskowski from KickIt has attempted to instill some guidelines to help with this challenge by writing a very helpful, thorough e-book called Kickish: The Language of Line Dance. This e-book has been extremely helpful for me in constructing line dance step sheets. Peter points out that it can be very confusing to learn a line dance from step sheets when people are using different terminology for the same steps.

For example, you want to be consistent in the way you describe the step. Here’s a snippet:

Consistency means saying the same thing the same way every time. This is sometimes called using a “single voice” throughout the step sheet. Any instruction in a step sheet can be written multiple ways:

“left foot – step to side”

“left foot step left”

“left foot step to left side”

“left foot step to left”

“left foot step to the left”

“left foot to left side”

“left foot to left”

“left side step”

“left side”

“left step left”

“left step side left”

“left step to left side”

“left step to side left”

“left step to the left”

“left to left side”

“left to left”

“left to side”

“left to the side”

“side step left”

“step left foot to side”

“step left foot to the left side”

“step left with left foot”

“step out left”

“step to left with left”

“step to the side with the left foot”

Notice how stepping forward with the left foot happens twice, but is described in two different ways. This inconsistency decreases readability. When a step sheet seems understandable in one section, but unclear in another, the most likely cause is lack of consistency. The proposed step sheet vocabulary will help a step sheet writer to keep a consistent voice throughout a step sheet.

Visit Kick It here for the article (opens as a PDF):  Kickish: The Language of Line Dance

Last but not least, Skippy Blair on Contemporary Social Dance: Disco to Tango and Back by Skippy Blair has just a few pages on line dancing, including a “Line Dance Formula” (on pages 43 and 44), but I would highly recommend it as reading material. The whole book, not just the pages on line dancing.

Skippy Blair on Contemporary Social Dance: Disco to Tango and Back/Plus Teacher’s Breakdown for the Universal Unit System

I am still studying Skippy Blair’s book, and learning a lot of very interesting concepts that I never realized about dancing.

I’d love to hear from you! Do you choreograph line dances, or are you just getting started? Leave me a comment or use my contact form to drop me a line.

Teaching Line Dance to the Visually Impaired

love-dancing1775507This past Wednesday, I began teaching line dance. Part of me was saying, “What in the world are you thinking?! You have been line dancing less than a year!”

Another part of me shouted out, “Just try it! It will be an adventure! If it doesn’t work out, you can stop. But for now, just do it!” I knew soon after I began line dancing that I wanted to share this wonderful experience with others through instructing. I definitely wanted to share my passion for line dance with anyone who was willing to try.

For the past 15 years I have worked for an agency that provides rehabilitation to adults who are blind and visually impaired. I have strong feelings about this community. I have seen that they are capable of almost anything they put their minds to. I have watched people walk in the front door dependent on family or friends to do for them, and chauffeur them around, but after receiving training go on to find a job and travel independently.

I also toyed with and looked into the prospect of teaching a class at the studio where I take my lessons. Between the two options, interesting enough, I was less concerned by the prospect of teaching line dance to adults with limited vision, so I decided to start there.

I decided the first line dance I would teach is the one I learned first:  Ms. Jody’s Thang.

I had ten dancers present. Four had no visual impairment. Two are experts in the field of Orientation and Mobility (O&M). These ladies help people regain their independence after losing vision. The other two sighted people are volunteers at the agency.

Of the six visually impaired, two were experienced square dancers, one of these is a man who is also hearing impaired, and wears a hearing aid. He told me he square danced for over 20 years, and used to teach classes, and asked that I not make the music too loud otherwise it would reverberate in his hearing aid.

Five dancers have enough vision that they were able to stay in line while we danced.

One dancer has very little vision and did well, but had some difficulty keeping in line with the rest of us as we made our turns. This is to be expected, and I’m working with the O&M Specialists to see if we can figure out how to help her. She told me she had a great time, and is looking forward to the next class!

All in all, it went very well. Although I was rather nervous. It was my first time calling the steps out loud and it is definitely a learning curve. I need to work on my audio cues since my dancers cannot watch my feet, they definitely need verbal instruction to stay in step.

It is said when you are line dancing, you must concentrate on the steps to the extent that you cannot be thinking of other things. I find this to be very true. Even the moment I begin to think, “Hey, I’m getting this,” I fall out of step. But having to call the steps out loud and keep dancing the correct steps? Whew!

For the first class, we worked on just one dance. We went through learning the steps one section at a time, then putting the sections together and finally doing a full rotation.

One problem I had was teaching the dance at a slower pace than the music. When I turned the music on, it was much faster than my dancers had learned to take the steps.

I also had decided to teach my dancers that once you learn a dance, you can use it for multiple songs! I love this idea! So we ended up learning the steps and dancing to Ms. Jody’s Thang at first, but I also found two other songs that worked perfectly. The only little problem is I had trouble counting the beats from when the song began, and I got flustered and kept starting the song over again, and apologizing. {How embarrassing! Oh, how I agonized over my mistakes for the next 24 hours! I also felt wiped out, thankfully not physically sore. Mentally, more than anything.}

I found an awesome website that allows you to enter the beats per minute (BPM) and find songs at that BPM, by genre!

Ms. Jody’s Thang (Remix) is 144 beats per minute. The other two songs I chose were:

It Doesn’t Get any Countrier Than This by Tim McGraw

It’s a Beautiful Day by Michael Bublé

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!