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What Is Basic Pattern Structure in Line Dancing?

Learn the basic pattern structure of line dancing in this Howcast dance video with expert Robert Royston.


"Hi! My name is Robert Royston. I am a five time world champion of country dance, working with artists like Taylor swift, Carrie Underwood, Brad Bazley...

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 basic pattern structure of line dance...

What we're talking about with this is how you would either create your own line dance or if you're learning a line dance and you are watching... you're watching some people do it and you wanna jump in 'n try to do it with them quickly, you wanna look at the basic structure so you can jump in at the beginning of the line dance and understand where the restart point is and where the finish of line dance is.

So I'm gonna talk a little bit about structure.

Basic pattern structure of the line dance starts on a wall whatever a wall you're facing. So everybody is facing the same wall.

Somewhere on the way you're going to, probably, move right, move left, move forward , move back, everything else... until you hit a new wall. Most line dancers do a quarter of a turn, and most of them to the left. So you do a quarter of a turn to your left and than you'll start a new wall. So as you're watching a line dance, you build the ability to watch it, watch it, watch it ... and when they face a new wall and do a step, you recognize that you've just seen it a minute ago, you can probably take a good guess that that's the new wall in a dance is starting over.

I am gonna go ahead and do this little pattern which is basic 8-counts. So we do just 8 counts... we do 4 counts to one side , 4 counts to other side, and so on.

So I am gonna go to my right and I am gonna go: one, two, three, four... Now you might choose to go to your left if you're creating your own line dance. But for the sake of what we are doing we go right: one-two-three-four.

Now I'm gonna go back: five-six-seven-eight.

Let's do it this way: think, right with a touch step. So you're gonna go: walk, walk, walk, touch and you go left : walk, walk, walk, touch.

Now you can choose to go forward and back. Let's go ahead and go back. There you go back, back, back, touch.

So we've gone to the right, we've gone to the left, we've gone back.

At this point I'll either go forward again, I can go right or left again or I can make a quarter of a turn.

Let's go ahead and go forward. So here we go forward, forward, forward, tap.

Now from here let's take 8 counts to make a quarter of a turn to my left:1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.

This would be our new wall and we restart the pattern structure again. So we have 1,2,3, touch-4, 5,6,7, touch-8. Back 1,2,3, touch-4, 5,6,7, touch-8. 8 counts to the quarter of turn: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.

And we start the pattern again: 1,2,3,4; 5,6,7,8.

Back, 2, 3, 4; 5,6,7,8.

1,2,3,4, 5,6,7,8.

So what you're looking for in this... kind of line dance sequence is you're looking for where's the restart point, where's the dance restart, where's it happen again ... and than you look for the structure: OK, so they start here, and they finish here.

Now, as another example, one of the other pattern structures they use in line dancing is you do one pattern and instead of a quarter of a turn your new wall is the back wall. That's called the two-wall line dance, 'cause you only ever face front or face back.

Same exact pattern structure. We are gonna make this a two-wall line dance.

So we go to the right first : 1,2,3,4; and left : 5,6,7,8.

Back up 1,2,3,4; forward 5 ,6, 7, 8.

Now take the same 8 counts of walking and make a complete half-turn: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.

We're at our new wall and we start again : 1,2,3,4 ; 5, 6, 7, 8.

Back 2,3 ,4 ; 5, 6, 7, 8.

8 counts of walking with a half-turn: 1,2 ,3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

We're back to our beginning wall.

So we have a 2-wall line dance.

When you watch people doing line dances your either gonna see a 4-wall line dance or a 2-wall line dance. So I mean they gonna make a quarter of a turn at each restart. Yeah, I did all 4 walls. Or I'm gonna make a half-turn... at each... at restarts. We have a 2-wall line dance.

And then there are some line dances out there that are 1-wall line dances.

So let's do this together. Same structure. We take those final 8 counts. Let's make one complete turn.

So we're gonna go 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. Back, 2,3,4, 5,6,7,8. Around 2,3,4,5,6, and start over.

So that's a one more line dance.

So those are some basic pattern structures that you wanna think about when you're creating your own line dance or watching a line dance that's happening right in front of you and you wanna pick up and start to learn. Look for the structure, look for the pattern, where is it going and where does it restart, and then you'll know when you can jump in, and when you're ready to start with those people. "

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