Publish date:
Updated on

How to Find the Beat in Line Dancing

Learn how to find the beat in line dancing in this Howcast dance video with expert Robert Royston.

Transcript

"Hi. My name is Robert Royston. I'm a five-time world champion of country dance, working with artists like Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley. I really hope that you'd learn how to line dance and experience what it's like to move to America's music, and that's country music.

So, before you can start to do any dance you have to first find the beat. And how do you find the beat? Well, the first thing you want to do is just turn on the song—any song. And start tapping your foot, just to find that rhythm that you can feel in your body. Kind of move your body, tap your feet, right, and you can clap your hands, snap your fingers, whatever you want to do, just start to tap your feet. Yeah? So that's finding the beat right away, like, as soon as you start to tap. Then you want to start to put numbers to that as you're tapping. Now, the way music is structured that we dance to most of the time is that you have a downbeat and an upbeat. The downbeat is 1, 3, 5 and 7. The upbeat is 2, 4, 6 and 8. You don't necessarily have to remember that, as much as you just remember downbeat and upbeat. So it goes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. You don't want to worry about counting to eight. You could just go 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2. Yes? So, downbeats and upbeats. The interesting thing about line dancing, and most of the couples country dancing that you're going to do, is we almost always start on the downbeat. 1, 3, 5 or 7. That's not necessarily the case. If you're doing hip hop or jazz or doing other set pieces of choreography. The choreographer can choose to start on the upbeat if they would like to. But for social country line dancing and for social country couples dancing we almost always start on the downbeat. So, it's going to be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up. So, the best thing we can do is maybe turn on the piece of music right now and we'll start to tap our feet to it. [music plays] Start tapping your foot. And let's count this. 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, or in eights: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. You can also say down-up, right? Here we go downbeat and upbeat. Down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up. So, if you're going to do your line dance, you're going to start on that downbeat. 6, 7, 8. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 1, 2, 3, 4, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, or, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, right? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. And that is how you find the beat.

Popular Categories