Line Dancing : History
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Line dancing first started in the United States of America (U.S.A) sometime in the late 1970’s to early 1980’s. On the disco floors in the 1970’s, the form of dance that we know today as “line dancing” was most likely born.
It was not until latter in the 1980’s that the term “line dancing” was coined and used.
The First Line Dances in the 1980’s
The first known choreographed line dance “Tush Push” was choreographed in 1980 by Jim Ferrazzano. The dance known as “Tush Push” is still one of the most well-known line dances today.
Although many popular line dances are set to country music, the first line dances did not originate from country-western dancing which has many similarities.
Contra dancing, a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form two parallel lines and perform a sequence of dance movement with different partners down the length of the line, probably had a huge influence on the line dancing steps we are familiar with today.
Line Dancing in the 1990’s
Moving forward to the 1990’s Billy Ray Cyrus released the song “Acky Breaky Heart”. Melanie Greenwood was asked to choreograph a dance to the song. As a result of the release of Acky Breaky Heart line dancing became synonymous in 1992. The rest as they say, was history.
The song Acky Breaky Heart , went on to become Billy Ray Cyrus’ biggest ever “Country” song of the 1990’s. The huge success of the song also bought line dancing into the awareness of the general public and line dancing became identified with Country music.
The links with Country and Western were forged with Billy Ray Cyrus’”Acky Breaky Heart”. The dance to this song was written as a marketing ploy to sell the single, but line dancing to country music soon became a big dance craze.
Other Styles of Music
In the mid 1990’s line dancing increasingly began to drift into other styles of music. By this time line dance choreographers were becoming increasingly experienced and were beginning to experiment, looking to other musical styles and writing dances to songs they liked.
Today, more and more line dances are being choreographed to non-country music.