Beginner Terminology 

A quick rock step using the ball of the foot using an “&” count.

The free leg moves forward or backward letting the ball of the foot make contact with the floor. There is not a weight change!

3 steps done in any direction taking only 2 beats of music. See triple step.

Meaning “to the side”- This is a series of side steps done in a straight timing of 1,2,3,4, etc or can be syncopated with “&” counts. Moves right or left only!

Right turn also called a “Natural” turn.

Left turn also called a “Reverse” turn.

Draw is to slide the free foot toward the weighted foot in any direction keeping the toe down to the floor (feet do not have to come together). Drag is to slide the free foot toward the weighted foot with the toe up - heel in contact with the floor (this will limit directional movement).

Depending on the organization, can be 5 to 9 positions of the feet which make up all dance patterns.

1st position - feet together 
2nd position - feet apart 
3rd position - heel of one foot to the instep of the other foot 
4th position - one foot passing the other either fwd or bk 
5th position - toe of one foot to the heel of the other 
Can also have extended 3rd and ext 5th and crossed 1st and 2nd.

This refers to the part of the foot that touches the floor first.

A side step, cross behind, step side - usually finished off with either a touch, stomp, kick, or hitch as you bring your feet together. Technically the side step is in 2 nd position, the cross behind is actually a back step in 5 th position, then another side step in 2 nd position. You are not really crossing one foot behind the other one - it just has that illusion. Can move to the right or left - side movements only.

This is a “Ball Change” that is preceeded by a loose, low kick usually forward. Counted as 1&2 or 3&4.

A jump on one foot

Not a real term. The reason this is not real is because it is impossible to jump up in the air, change foot positions and land in a different position without some other movements occurring that negate the use of the term “Hop”.This is not the “Russian Saber Dance”. The correct terminology would be “Touch, ball Change”- same as “Kick ball Change” but with a touch instead.

To shift weight or touch without traveling in any direction - 1st position

A lifting of the leg off the floor and moving forward or backward. Can be done using a straight leg or using a bend of the knee

A crossing of the feet danced moving forward or backward using a crossed 1 st position or a 5 th position.

A turn that travels - In the early days of line dancing the term was used in-correctly to actually describe a twisting or swiveling action and it stuck. A pivot is a turn that travels from point A to point B. We tend to call this a “Traveling Pivot”.

Extend the free leg either forward, backward or to the side with the toe either touching the floor, or extended in air.

See Triple Step or Shuffle Step.

An exchange of weight from one foot to the other. Can be danced in any foot position. Usually a rock step in a dance will signal a change of direction.

A slide of the weighted foot either forward, backward or to the side while lifting the knee of the free leg. Depending on where the free leg is placed either next to the calf of the weighted leg, or with the knees apart or forward will determine whether this is a “Hitch” (next to calf) or “Chug” (knee forward). Also see “HOP”.

Same as “Brush” except that the heel is used instead of the toe. (only done forward or to the side).

Same as “Draw or Drag”

Placing the foot on the floor with weight.

STOMP – Placing the foot on the floor forcefully enough to make an audible sound. Can be done with or without a weight change. Usually, if the action does not have a weight change it is called a “Stomp Up” or “Stamp”, reserving the word “Stomp” for the actions that involve changing weight. Can use whole foot, heel, or ball. For further study, look up “Flamenco Footwork”.

A swivel is a turn that stays in place. This is the real action of the “Pivot Turn”. Can involve 1/2, ¼, ¾ twisting turns or Twists in place.

This is placing the foot on the floor without weight. Generally the toe is the part of the foot that makes contact with the floor.

This is 3 steps that take only 2 beats of music. Can be danced in place, side to side, or forward and back. This is element that makes up a Cha Cha step, a Shuffle step or a Polka step. It is the timing and styling that determine the component. In a Cha Cha the steps are held for ½ beat, ½ beat, 1 whole beat. For a Shuffle or Polka step the timing is ¾ beat, ¼ beat, 1 whole beat. There is a slight stutter on the shuffle and polka but not on the Cha Cha. The count is 1&2 or 3&4.

This is similar to a Grapevine, but involves crossing in front as well as behind. Usually a minimum of 6 counts unless the pattern starts right off with the cross instead of a side movement.

To move from one foot to the other.


  • A few tips for beginners.....

  • I want you to learn the dances and enjoy them. The best way to learn is to listen carefully to the dance instructor and try to follow what they are teaching.

  • It is best to stand somewhere near the front of the class where you can follow the instructor. Watch the spotters (A spotter is someone who knows the dances, so when you turn to a new wall you have someone to watch.  Don't rely too much on following new students around you because they are learning the dance too and if they make a mistake you will follow.

  • Don't stand at the sides or the back because when the dance changes direction you could find yourself without a spotter in front of you

  • One important rule is not to be afraid and to speak up while doing the walk through if you are not sure of any of the steps. You will find that the dance instructor will only be too happy to go over any steps you are not sure of. It may be that if you are struggling with parts of the dance others are struggling too.

  • Remember to take small steps while you are learning a dance, that way you will avoid bumping into the person next to you if you make a mistake. If you do go wrong during a dance don't give up, wait a few beats and join in again when you are ready.

  • What should I wear?You should wear clothes you are comfortable with. While some dancers still dress in western wear most just wear clothes which are comfortable to dance in.

  • Footwear is the most  important and you should wear shoes which provide good ankle support. High heels, sling backs, flip flops and other loose fitting shoes are definitely not suitable. Trainers would provide the right level of support but you will find it difficult to dance in trainers because they tend to grip on the dance floor. Smooth soled shoes or boots with a flat heel which give good ankle support are ideal.

  • The most important thing.....If you have ever watched a class dancing a new dance for the first time you will realize that the most difficult thing to do is smile while you are dancing.

  • When learning a new dance you have so much to think about. You need to remember the steps, keep in time, stay in line and smile all at the same time.

  • But don't worry. Stick with it, even if you go wrong.  The most important thing is that you enjoy yourself.

  • Remember it is not the steps of the dance which are important but the steps which bring us closer as friends.

Why Line Dance?

There are lots of reasons for wanting to learn to line dance. It is great fun and an opportunity to socialize and make new friends.

It is a great form of exercise for the body and the mind and it is recommended by many doctors as a way of keeping fit.

Dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Research also shows that it helps with stress, anxiety, and depression, which many of my students will confirm! If you don’t already take a line dance class, now is the time to start this fun adventure.

Trying different types of dance keeps you in a constant learning process, which has been shown to increase the size of a brain region called the hippocampus. This region normally declines with age. If you currently take a line dance class, you usually learn at least one (if not more) new dances in every lesson. Plus, you constantly recall dances from previous weeks, which plays a role in memory and learning.Physical and mental exercise can contribute to a healthy life and help with keeping one’s balance. Learning different types of dance routines can rejuvenate the body and mind.

Medical researchers reported that dancing helps to:

*Reduce stress *Increase energy *Improve strength

*Condition the body

*Increase muscle tone and coordination

*Lower your risk of coronary heart disease

*Improve cholesterol level *Strengthens bones

*Decrease blood pressure * Keeps you mentally fit

*Help you manage your weight

*Strengthen bones of your legs and hips

*Helps keep the heart in shape

*Builds and increases stamina

*Develops the circulatory system

*Increases flexibility and balance

*Provides cardiovascular conditioning

Physical benefits aside, dancing has a way of brightening up a person’s day by helping you develop strong social ties.
Quoted from UK’s Linedancer Magazine, September 2006 Issue, "Line Dancing improves stamina, muscle tone and coordination, is a great stress buster and energy booster. Good for posture, strength, mobility in the lower back, and toning calves and thighs. The British Heart Association says it is very beneficial to health and is recommended by doctors, invigorates all the major organs from the brain right down to the toes. Line dancers can cover around five miles of ground in one evening,"


Just give it a try and you'll be hooked!

Come along to any of our dance classes 

and you will be sure of a warm welcome

Call Linda Today  219-682-6548

Dancing Through-out NW Indiana

Kickin It with Linda