Line Dancing vs. Square Dancing

Learn how line dancing is different from square dancing in this Howcast dance video with expert Robert Royston.


Up next in How to Line Dance (37 videos)

No need to sit out line dances anymore. In these videos, dancer/choreographer Robert Royston teaches you how to do basic line dancing steps and how to put them together for popular line dances like The Wobble, the Cupid Shuffle, the Cowboy Boogie, the Tush Push, the Good Time line dance, and the Sleazy Slide.



Hi! My name is Robert Royston and I'm a 5 time champion of country dance working with artists like Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley. I really hope that you learn to how line dance and experience what it's like to move to America's music and that's country music. So what is the difference between line dancing and square dancing? First and foremost the music. So square dancing is usually done to music that has no vocal to it and isn't commercial country music, it isn't stuff that you would hear on the radio. Where line dancing we do to commercially played music that you would hear on the radio or would dance in your local country bar. The other difference between line dancing and square dancing is line dancing is set choreography to a song or maybe a piece of choreography that you do to multiple songs. That everybody already knows and does all at the same time, kind of with no help. It's just set choreography everybody runs out and knows how to do it. Square dancing is called what that means is there is a caller, a square dance caller, who's telling the couples or the people what to do next and it's kind of at the caller's digression in what he wants the people to do. So they get out there to dance, not knowing what's about to happen. So for instance if we were doing a line dance that asked Nicola and I to grapevine, the line dance was to grapevine right and then to grapevine left. We would both know to grapevine right and grapevine left. Nobody would have to call that nobody would say grapevine right, grapevine left. We would just do it. If we were square dancing and we were in close position we would start with not knowing what to do and the caller would say vine to the right, and we would vine, vine to the left, we would vine. And he might say promenade and we would walk around each other and he might go vine again and then we would vine again to the left. And he would say it or she would say it usually the right before the moment that you would then go to the next piece. So a couple of differences one, the music, so line dance music is done to commercially played country music on the radio. Square dancing is done to set square dance music, you would have to buy specific square dance cd's or albums and one set is choreography that kind of everybody who knows how to line dance already knows and is welcome to embellish as they want on their own. And square dancing is a called dance where the caller tells you what to do. And there is the difference between line dancing and square dancing.


  • Robert Royston

    Robert Royston began his professional career on the competitive couples dance circuit in 1989, quickly ascending through the ranks and securing the US Open Swing Dance Championship and the World Country Dance Championship, titles he held for four consecutive years (1995 to 1998). In 2007 he became the youngest person to be inducted to the UCWDC Hall of Fame. His exciting, high-energy and original work next led to his choreographing and performing in music videos. An internationally-recognized judge and instructor, Robert teaches 22 different styles of couples dancing and runs his own production company, RoRo Productions.