Don't worry about making a mistake, many of the dancers just look as if they know what to do. Some know how to anticipate the steps they've already learned and are simply faking it, copying dancers they can see. Since all line dances repeat a series of steps, generally no more than between 32 to 96, steps are broken down into series of eight steps, you may know half the dance even if you're only familiar with a few steps.

So stand up straight, smile and make eye contact, you won't dance any better staring at your tootsies, and because line dancers are generally helpful, it's safe to ask for pointers. Even the experts do it. The main thing is to have fun!

THE BASICS OF LINE DANCING

You're at the local dance club or lessons...Everyone but you seems to know all the right moves...Soon you feel like everyone is watching you. Don't worry, we all had to start, just like you. We have a rule in line dancing that there are no mistakes, only variations. Eeveryone does variations, including the instructors, so just have fun.
Line dancing's first lesson... Never give up
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BASIC STEPS

VineShuffleJazz BoxMilitary TurnHook

These steps occur in most line dances. Learn them and when you hear the instructor call out a series of steps you'll know what to expect for the next few beats.

The Grape Vine

Right Vine

  1. Step right foot to right side
  2. Step left foot behind right foot
  3. Step right foot to right side
  4. Touch left foot next to right foot

Left Vine

  1. Step left foot to left side
  2. Step right foot behind left foot
  3. Step left foot to left side
  4. Touch right foot next to left foot

Note: In step 4, you can touch, scuff, kick, stomp, slap your boot, hop - whatever as long as you do it in one beat and don't shift your weight to the other foot. Advanced dancers manage full turns doing a vine, but they take the same number of steps and end un in the same place you do.
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The Shuffle

The Shuffle Step
(a.k.a Cha Cha, Triple-Step, or Polka Step) In this series of traveling steps, the shuffle means you take three steps in two beats of music. The symbol (&) indicates this extra step between two beats of music. Right and left shuffle steps often appear as a pair, with right and left referring to the foot on which you begin.

Right Shuffle Step

  • 1. Step right foot forward
  • & Slide left foot up to the right and put weight on it
  • 2. Step right foot forward

    Left Shuffle Step
    1. Step left foot forward
    & Slide right foot up to left and put weight on it
    2. Step left foot forward

Note: Shuffle steps usually move forward, backward, or at an angle in any direction. A side shuffle is often referred to as a lindy or a Chassé. A shuffle step can also be a crossing shuffle in which the lead foot is crossing in front of the other as in a (cross & cross)
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Jazz Box or Box Step

Right Jazz Box

  1. Cross right foot over left foot
  2. Step back on left foot
  3. Step right foot to right side
  4. Step left foot next to right foot

Left Jazz Box

  1. Cross left foot over right foot
  2. Step back on right foot
  3. Step left foot to left side
  4. Step right foot next to left foot

Note: This step is also used for 1/4 and 1/2 turns. As you step back in step 3, you make a 1/4 or 1/2 turn to the right or left, (depending on the dance)
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Military or Half Turn

Military Turn
(a.k.a. Half Turn or Pivot Turn)

Right Military Turn

  • 1. Step left foot forward
    2. With the weight on the balls of your feet, turn your body half way around to the right. Your left foot will remain slightly behind in anticipation of the next step. Your weight should change from the left foot in step 1 to the right foot in step 2.

Left Military Turn

  • 1. Step right foot forward
    2. With the wieght on the balls of your feet, turn your body halfway around to the left. Your right foot will remain slightly behind in anticipation of the next step. Your weight should change from the right foot in step 1 to the left foot in step 2.

Note: The direction of the turn is usually opposite the foot on which you step forward. It is the way your body naturally turns.
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Hook or Cross

Right Hook

  1. Touch right heel forward
  2. Cross right heel in front of left knee
  3. Touch right heel forward
  4. Step right foot next to left foot

Left Hook

  1. Touch left heel forward
  2. Cross left heel in front of right knee
  3. Touch left heel forward
  4. Step left foot next to right

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