What is country western dancing?
Learn the history of country western dancing, a purely American art form.
Country music has never been more popular. More and more country artists are crossing over with singles getting play on pop stations as well as country. With country western music comes dancing, and country western dancing can be a blast.
Types of Country Western Dancing
There are many different dances that are danced to country music, and they can be put into two groups: partner dances, and group dances.
Partner dances come in two styles: pattern dances and lead and follow. In lead-and-follow dances, the woman follows the man's lead. These include the waltz, the two-step and western swing.
- The waltz: The waltz is danced in three-four time and is also associated with ballroom dancing. It is performed in a closed position with the man and woman facing each other.
- The country western two-step: This dance is sometimes just called the two-step, or the Texas two-step. It is danced to four-four time and the couples revolve clockwise around the floor. The man leads, and the dance follows a step pattern of quick, quick, slow, slow.
- Western swing: Western swing is danced to music that is a mix of country, jazz and the blues. This is a very energetic dance style.
There are many different pattern dances for couples. These dances involve following a prescribed pattern of moves, rather than the woman simply folowing the man's lead. Some examples are the Horseshoe Shuffle, Traveling Cha Cha, Sweetheart Stroll, Schottische and the Cotton Eyed Joe.
In country western dancing, group dances include square dancing and line dancing. Square dancing involves couples arranged in squares and a caller who calls out the moves like swing your partner and do-si-do.
Line dancing is done in a big group and you can see it being done at country bars across the United States. It originated in the Wild West, and then became very popular in the early 1990s due to Billy Ray Cyrus and Achy Breaky Heart.