Lining Up for the History of Line Dances
Line Dances are popular at events and dances. From the Harlem Shuffle to the Cha-Cha Slide, lines of dancers are ready to move and groove to the beat.
Essentially, there is no partnering throughout the dance. Parallel lines are readied for the music to begin with structured steps to compliment the beat. It is often thought the first line dances originated with Country Western songs. As the Achy Breaky Heart lined up dancers by the masses, Line dances became a phenomenon that changed the face of the dance floor. This does not negate the original concept of the style. After all, the modern dance is not the first to be performed in a uniform pattern. As most notions change with the times, keeping pace with history is a tribute to some of our favorites.
The Idea of a Line Dance
Before Line Dances became Line Dances, there were a few predeseccors that were equally as vibrant. The sounds of cheer soared the air with the melodic tidings of the era. Perhaps the earliest dances we can recall retaining a lineup is in the customs of ancient times. We are aware of the dances that followed ritualistic traditions that extend back to Greek and Roman times while integrally being a part of indigenous traditions. Tribal dances are often in a line of expression from its members holding honor to their beliefs and ways of life.
Dancing in a line followed the years and into the Fifteenth Century. English Country Dancing was the nuance of romance, suspense and courtship. Subtle yet hypnotic music is referenced as classic, operatic or harmonic. Most of the modern society will recognize one of the dances as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s poetic moment in Pride and Prejudice. A time of Balls and Galas were filled with dances that had a line for females and another for males. This practice was also popularized in the fifties and sixties with hit tunes such as “The Stroll”.
Distinct Dancing Descendant
When the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted, we begin to see an emphasis on Folk Dances. A mixture of history and cultures are rhythmically set in a long list of dances. Some tell a tale while others are made to solely bring a stomp happy time to the crowd. If you think of the Hokey Pokey, it will put you in mind of square dancing. Many believe the country/folk style is an intermingling of the past with a dash of the once present. From there the story trend continued and the Line Dance was born. It seems to have taken a hint and borrowed a step or two from its original concepts. This is why it has been hard for Dancers to pinpoint the exact origination.
We are able to offer recognition from around the world to those who have paved the way for dancers today. For now, put on your dancing shoes and electric slide your way into the cupid shuffle before the night is through.