Dance Terminology

County Western Line Dancing is a FUN dance form that is most often (and best) learned through continued lessons with repetition of steps and dances. There is no “studying” involved, however some students desire more information regarding specific dance steps or combinations. Below is a list of terms commonly used in Country Western Line Dancing. This guide is simply for reference to help clarify some of the dance terms you may hear during your lessons. But don’t get hung up on “the words”... Just HAVE FUN and DANCE!!!

~ Lynn

 

FIRST THINGS FIRST!

These are the priceless words I wish someone had told me before I walked into my first line dance lesson: The words “step” and “stomp” mean you will place your weight down on that foot. The words “touch”, “brush”, “kick”, “hitch”, “point” and “scuff” mean you will perform the described step without putting your weight on it, as you will likely be using that foot again to take your next step. Okay, now you are “two steps” ahead of me when I got started!! Yaaaay!!!

 

 

Dance Terms


"AND" ( “&”)

One step (as described in the dance) will be done to 1/2 beat of music.

CHARLESTON

Four steps. One variation commonly used starts with the right foot as follows:
(1) point R foot forward

(2) step R foot home

(3) point L foot back

(4) step L foot home

CHASSE (“sha-say”)

Three steps (triple step) done over two counts of music using the “and” count. A shuffle that is done by traveling to the right or left side (Also know as “Side Shuffle”.)
 

Right Chasse

(1) step R to R

(&) step/slide L next to R

(2) step R to R
 

Left Chasse

(1) step L to L

(&) step/slide R next to L

(2) step L to L


COASTER STEP

Three steps (triple step) and can be done over three counts of music or two
(by using the “and” count). Can be done with the right or left foot leading.

(1) step back on the 1st foot

(2) step back on the 2nd foot

(3) step forward on the 1st foot.

FAN

Two steps done with either the heel OR the toes of the right or left foot.
 

Heel Fan – With feet together swing HEEL of the designated foot out 90 degrees pivoting on ball of foot, then swing heel back home.
 

Toe Fan - With feet together swing TOES of the designated foot out 90 degrees pivoting on the heel, then swing toes back home.

HEEL JACKS

Four steps done to two counts of music. Starts with an “and” count (1/2 of one beat of music). Can be done with the right or left foot leading. Example of a single heel jack:
(&) step slightly back on R foot

(1) tap L heel forward

(&) step L foot back home

(2) touch R foot next to L

HIP BUMPS

Three swings of the hips to two counts of music. Can be done with the right or left hip leading.


Right Hip Bump

(1) step or touch the R toe and swing R hip forward

(&) swing the L hip backward

(2) swing the R hip forward

 

Left Hip Bump

(1) step or touch the L toe and swing L hip forward

(&) swing the R hip backward

(2) swing the L hip forward

HITCH

Bend and raise the knee of the specified leg for 1 beat of music.

HOLD

Hold (or “freeze”) your position for 1 beat of music.

JAZZ BOX

Four steps and can be done with the right or left foot leading.

 

Right Jazz Box

(1)cross R foot in front of L

(2)step back on L

(3)step R foot home   
(4)step L foot home


Left Jazz Box

(1)cross L foot in front of R

(2)step back on R

(3)step L foot home   
(4)step R foot home


KICK BALL CHANGE

Three steps done to two beats of music and can be done with the right or left foot leading.
(1) Kick specified foot forward

(&) Step down weight onto SAME foot

(2) Step and shift weigh onto the other foot

LOCK STEP

Three steps (step, lock, step) usually done on a diagonal. May be done over three counts of music or two (by using the “and” count). Oftentimes a fourth count is added which is either a “hold” or a scuff of the opposite foot.


Right Lock Step

(1) step forward on R foot

(2) DRAG L foot behind R (with L toe behind R heel)   
(3) step forward on R foot

 

Left Lock Step

(1) step forward on L foot

(2) DRAG R foot behind L (with R toe behind L heel)   
(3) step forward on L foot

MAMBO

Three steps (triple step) and can be done over three counts of music or two (by using the “and” count). Can be done with the right or left foot leading and can be done forwards, backwards or to the side.
(1) step 1st foot in specified direction

(2) recover weight onto 2nd foot

(3)return 1st foot to starting position

PIVOT TURN

Two steps making a half turn (or an “about face”).

 

Right Pivot Turn

(1) step forward on L foot

(2) make ½ turn (180° “about face”) to right and transfer weight to right foot.

 

Left Pivot Turn

(1) step forward on R foot

(2) make ½ turn (180° “about face”) to left and transfer weight to left foot.

ROCKING CHAIR

Four steps and can be done with the right or left foot leading. Only the 1st foot moves, the 2nd foot remains stationary.
(1) rock forward on 1st foot

(2) rock back and recover weight on 2nd foot

(3) rock BACK on 1st foot   
(4) rock forward and recover weight on 2nd foot

RUMBA BOX

Eight counts producing a square pattern. Can be done with either foot leading and in a clockwise or counter clockwise direction. The most common is “side-together-FORWARD-touch, then side-together-BACK-touch”.
    Example:

(1) step R foot to R side

(2) step L foot next to R foot

(3) step R foot FORWARD   
(4) TOUCH L toe next to right foot.   
    Then:

(5) step L foot to L side

(6) step R foot next to L foot

(7) step BACK on L foot   
(8) TOUCH R foot next to L foot

SAILOR STEP

Three steps (triple step) and can be done over three counts of music or two (by using the “and” count). Can be done with the right or left foot leading.
(1) step 1st foot BEHIND the 2nd foot

(2) step 2nd foot diagonally forward

(3) step 1st foot to side of 2nd foot

SHUFFLES

Three steps (triple step) done over two counts of music using the “and” count. Shuffles are done traveling forward, backward, on diagonals, or to the right or left side (chasses). Can be done with the right (RLR) or left (LRL) foot leading.
(1) step 1st foot in specified direction

(&)step 2nd foot next to 1st foot

(2) step 1st foot in specified direction again


Right (forward) Shuffle

(1) step forward on R

(&) step L next to R

(2) step forward on R


Left (forward) Shuffle

(1) step forward on L

(&) step R next to L

(2) step forward on L

SPLITS

Two steps done with both heels simultaneously OR both sets of toes simultaneously.

 

Heel Splits - With feet together, simultaneously swing HEELS of both feet out 90 degrees in
opposite directions, pivoting on balls of both feet, then swing heels back home.

 

Toe Splits - With feet together, simultaneously swing TOES of both feet out 90 degrees in
opposite directions, pivoting on the heels, then swing toes back home.

STRUTS

Two steps and can be done with either the right or left foot.


Heel Strut

(1) touch the HEEL forward

(2) drop the toe to the floor (weight on that foot)

 

Toe Strut

(1) touch the TOE forward

(2) drop the heel to the floor (weight on that foot)

TRIPLE STEP

Three steps over two counts of music done in place, no traveling.
Can be done with the right or left foot leading.

(1) step onto the 1st foot

(&) step onto the 2nd foot

(2) step onto the 1st foot again

VINE (or GRAPEVINE)

Four steps and can be done traveling to the right or the left. Note: the 4th step can be a touch, scuff, brush, step, stomp, etc.


Vine to the Right

(1) step R on R foot

(2) cross L foot behind R

(3) step R on R foot   
(4) touch L toe next to R foot

 

Vine to the Left

(1) step L on L foot

(2) cross R foot behind L

(3) step L on L foot   
(4) touch R toe next to L foot

WEAVE

A vine (grapevine) that continues for eight or more steps.

 

Copyright  ©  2014 Lynn Robles, Smithtown, New York. All rights reserved.