top of page

Linedance Levels Explained

Updated: Jan 19

I’m recently being asked – what level of line dancer am I if I’ve been dancing for “x” amount of time?

The answer is that it’s mainly a person’s knowledge of steps and patterns that determines this, not the length of time that they have been dancing.

A person that has only line danced for a short period of time but has gained a very good knowledge of line dance steps and terminology beyond a basic level may well be suited to a class of an improver or intermediate level. That person may also have other dance experience already that has allowed them to learn line dance more quickly.

Similarly, a person that has line danced for sometime but has only knowledge of basic steps and patterns will be better suited to a beginners or improvers class to allow them to progress and widen their knowledge and experience whilst building their confidence and being successful.


What are the Different Linedance Levels?

To understand what each “level” or category of linedance means, let’s look at what they are and what they mean:

· Absolute Beginners (AB)

· Beginners

· Improvers

· Intermediate

· Advanced


Absolute Beginners (AB)

In dances for Absolute Beginners, (AB) you should expect routines to include basic steps such as grapevines, step touches, toe struts, heel struts, hip bumps, toe points, ¼ or ½ pivot turns. Dances should be shorter, with one repeating sequence with limited directional changes or turns and use music in ¾ or 4/4 timing with a very strong beat that’s easy to follow.

What to expect in my class:

In my classes you can expect a slow teaching pace, with steps and patterns broken down step by step. Dances are taught section by section, building up to combine each section together. New dances are typically introduced every few weeks to allow dancers to really get to grips with each dance they are working on. Routines are always taught or recapped section by section before being danced to music.


Beginners

Beginners dances include additional step patterns that build from AB dances and include more directional change and turns, for example a turn at the end of a travelling pattern. Different rhythms can be introduced at this level, such as cha cha cha and waltz. Syncopations can be introduced at this stage. Dances will include just one repeating sequence.

A few example steps:

Weave, sailor step, shuffles, box steps, kick ball change, coaster step, lock steps, rock steps, swivels, scuff, brush, stomp.

What to expect in my class:

In class, knowledge of the very basic patterns is assumed, so some patterns may not be broken down step by step. Routines are always taught or recapped section by each section (walked through) before being danced to music.



Improvers

Dances for improvers levels assume previous experience at beginners level and a good knowledge of basics. More complex patterns and steps will be included in dances at this level, such as coaster steps, sailor steps, more complex types of turns such as rolling vines. Routines will be longer, possibly 64 counts, use a variety of rhythms and tempos and have multiple turns and directional changes.

A few example steps:

Ronde, cross shuffles, Monterey turns, anchor steps, scissor steps, chasse or shuffle turns, skates, turning jazz box, twinkles, paddle turns.

What to expect in my class:

Knowledge of the very basic patterns is assumed, so patterns may not be broken down step by step. Routines that have been danced in class for a while are not always walked through before being danced to music.


Intermediate

Intermediate dances are more complex and will combine a wide variety of more challenging steps, patterns, turns and directional changes. Choreography at this level can include hold counts, styling, arm movements, multiple tags, bridges and restarts and a variety of timings and rhythms and multiple turns and directional changes. Dances may be phrased to include more than one repeating sequence to fit the music. Most social dances at written at this level.

A few example steps:

Heel jacks, Dorothy steps, spiral turns, turning sailor steps, spins, mashed potatoes.

What to expect in my class:

This class has a much faster teaching pace. Knowledge of the complex steps and patterns is assumed, so patterns will not be broken down step by step. Routines that have been danced in class for a while are not always walked through before being danced to music. Dance requests are taken in class and may include dances of ANY level up to including intermediate.


Advanced

This level of dance will utilise a broad range of complex steps, patterns, different types of turns, dance styles and rhythms. They may be phrased, have multiple sequences to fit the music phrasing. This level of dance will require good coordination balance and assume knowledge of many styles and technique. Very experienced dancers and competitors of advanced level will be most likely to choreograph and perform these dances.

A few example steps:

Arabesque, apple jacks, body rolls, spiral hitches, spiral locks, ankle rocks, heel turns.



Line dancers
Line dancers

88 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All
bottom of page