Country dancing continues to be a favorite style of dancing, giving ranch hands and city folk alike the chance to stomp their boots and kick up their heels.
The style of dancing referred to as country or western dancing is actually a compilation of several types of dancing that are all performed to country western music. This popular style of dancing has been a favorite for more almost two centuries since its beginnings on the American frontier.
Technically, country dancing has roots that extend back even before any kind of country music existed. The different steps originate from older dances like the waltz, two-step and swing. What started out as a lone fiddler providing entertainment for a group of cowboys on a ranch now fills dance halls to the brim. In the 19th century, as the frontier expanded, dances like those seen at French cotillions and favorites from Britain evolved to suit the tastes of the men and women who were living at the edges of the wild unknown.
Some of the obvious changes that were made to these dances can be credited directly to the men who wore cowboy boots while working the land. Dances like the waltz that were traditionally performed in sweeping motions on the balls of the feet were now done in a relaxed, smooth glide with the feet staying close to the floor. Adding a few heel or toe taps made it the perfect step to do in cowboy boots.
Many times, there were few women available to dance with the men, which added to the popularity of less affectionate styles of dancing like square dancing and later line dancing. A ranch full of entertainment-starved cowboys would likely hold events where half of the group were appointed to lead and the other half to follow. Without a woman to hold tightly in a slow dance, the men focused on the complicated spins, twirls and footwork that is a trademark of country dancing. Even now, although the men traditionally lead, country dancing doesn’t really have a masculine or feminine role and both partners do similar movements.
Contemporary country dancing is one of the most popular forms of dancing, with clubs devoted to it in nearly every city. A little floor etiquette can go a long way to helping beginners get into the swing of things. Several kinds of dancing will usually be taking place on the floor at one time. Progressive dancers rotate around the outside of the floor, with non-progressive dancers occupying the corners and line dancers in the middle. Country dancers are a casual, relaxed group of people and there’s always someone willing to show a newcomer the ropes.
About the Author: John is a professional blogger writes interesting articles about Fashion & Lifestyle and this article was researched and written with the help of Cowboy Boots.