20 Beginner Line Dances You Need to Know!

Since becoming introduced to the country dance scene a couple of years ago I have found much happiness in learning to dance and over time becoming a better dancer. If you are new to the country bar dance scene, I know how you feel! At first, it is equal parts intrigue and intimidation, exciting and terrifying! But don’t worry it will all work out!

You can divide all the dancing into 2 groups: partner and line dancing, and what follows here is a good round-up of the most popular and easiest beginner line dances out there.

Learn some of these and you’ll be set to get out on the dance floor every time you go out! Starting with the most common and easiest and working down… But all these are very beginner line dances.

Here’s my list of 20 beginner & popular line dances you will encounter: (click on them to pop down to each one).

 

1. Cupid Shuffle

Count: 32Wall: 4Level: Very Beginner

Choreography: Bernard Bryson (Cupid)
Music: Cupid Shuffle by Cupid

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Cupid Shuffle was choreographed by the singer Cupid and created simultaneously with his song The Cupid Shuffle that was recorded in 2006. When he set out to create it, it was with the exact intention of creating a line dance classic without genre, that everyone could dance to. He came up with the dance in the studio while making up the song.

That is all history! While the song isn’t a country song, this line dance has to be my lead off, since its arguably the most popular and one everyone has danced to (at bars, weddings, schools). It is particularly easy since the lyrics tell you what to do next! “To the right, to the right, to the right, to the right… To the left, to the left, to the left, to the left… Now kick…” so, no excuses, you can do this! But download the step sheet if you are worried!

Demo & Teach Video
 

2. Wobble

Count: 32 Wall: 4 Level: Beginner

Choreography: V.I.C. Brentnell
Music: Wobble by V.I.C.

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
The Wobble is another non-country line dance that is about as popular as the Cupid Shuffle. And another line dance created by the musical artist! Its very fun and always a crowd-pleaser. It is very common to see people doing the Wobble at weddings and parties as well as a local country bar where it is sure to get everyone out on the dance floor. The Wobble can get a little long though with the song lasting over 5 minutes. A lot of jumping!

Demo & Teach Video

 

3. Electric Slide

Count: 18 Wall: 4 Level: Beginner

Choreography: Ric Silver (1976)
Music: Electric Boogie by Marcia Griffiths
(with scores of alternates, including Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus and Fast As You by Dwight Yoakam)
Step Sheet: Click here to download.
While the Electric Slide was originally choreographed in 1976, it was Marcia Griffiths song Electric Boogie that gave it popularity. It was in 1989 when it really took off and for ten years was listed as the number one dance in the world! Today there are many songs used to dance the Electric Slide to. Achy Breaky Heart is a popular go-to at a country bar, but so many others work great. It is simple enough here’s the steps:

1. Grapevine right. Take one step right with your right foot.
2. Grapevine left. Take one step left with your left foot.
3. Rock forward and back with a toe-touch. Step back with your right foot, then bring your left foot to meet it.
4. Quarter-turn left and begin again…

It’s pretty easy (once you know it!). I’ve only known the Electric Slide for a couple of years and I did need a video to get that rock, toe touch, and quarter-turn all timed right. Another great thing about line dancing, especially with an easy one like the Electric Slide is that, as you get good, you can “play” adding in turns, etc. to have fun, make it your own and show-off a little on the dance floor.

Demo & Teach Video

 

4. Power Jam (San Diego Version)

Count: 24 Wall: 4 Level: Beginner

Choreographer: Lynn Bryant
Music: American Muscle by Canaan Smith
(and countless others!)
Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Power Jam is a pretty common call-out and is aptly named. It’s pretty fast-paced and the slides and heal taps and then the hop at the end that most people do is all great fun. This is a good one to get under your belt and a live band is for sure going to have some songs for it.

There are a couple of slight variations I’ve noticed with Power Jam. Firstly, for the first two heel-taps to the front and toe-taps to the back, most people just do one tap and hold it for the extra beat. Secondly, at the end of the dance instead of the little hop, you can also just stomp the left foot.

Demo & Teach Video

 

5. Cowboy Hustle

Count: 32 Wall: 4 Level: Beginner

Choreographer: Unknown
Music: What the Cowgirls Do by Vince Gill

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Cowboy Hustle is another great fun, fast and easy line dance not too unlike the Power Jam. In fact, I’ve been confused and switched these for each other at times. They both tap out the right heel forward and behind, so watch out for that! Like the Power Jam, Cowboy Hustle can go with many songs and will get called out commonly.

Demo & Teach Video

 

6. House Party

Count: 24 Wall: 4 Level: Beginner

Choreographer: Jessica Short and Kerry Kick (2014)
Music: House Party by Sam Hunt

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
House Party is a favorite one at The Ranch in Anaheim and after all, it is co-choreographed by Kerry Kick one of the weekly instructors there. It has a very current feel, danced to Sam Hunt’s song House Party. It feels like a lot of spinning to me since besides two step-turns there are 4 turns and shuffles (to make the four walls of the house!) But its always a fun one with a full floor. During those 4 turns and shuffles people hold up and touch their hands to look like a house, kind of reminds me of YMCA!

Demo & Teach Video

 

7. Watermelon Crawl

Count: 40 Wall: 4 Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Choreographer: Sue Lipscomb
Music: Watermelon Crawl by Tracy Byrd

Step Sheet: Click here to download
Watermelon Crawl is a beginner/intermediate, but is also super common and popular and a lot of fun. One small tip to learning this one that helped me was to just ignore the two 1/2 turns at the end of the dance just wait for everyone to stop turning and you’ll be a little more ready to start the beginning of the dance again with everyone.

The fun part of this dance, of course, is the stepping out to the right and then sliding back. I think that part is supposed to be the watermelon crawl.” And the song, of course, has a good message: “If you drink, don’t drive…do the watermelon crawl.” Click on the video below to see Ranch dance instructor Shelly Graham demo the dance!

Demo Video

 

8. Black Velvet

Count: 40 Wall: 1 Level: Beginner

Choreographer: Linda De Ford
Music: Black Velvet by Robin Lee

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Black Velvet is also a very common line dance and while a beginner line dance, this one was pretty intimidating to me at first. This line dance was my first exposure to “contra” line dances. Contra line dances are dances where every other line of dancers is facing the opposite direction, or the lines start facing each other and then move past each other.

It can be a lot of fun since typically there’s a lot of high-fives happening as you glide past your friends. But for the beginner, it looks pretty messed up.

Who do you follow? The people to your left and right are faced opposite you! So, just look to the next row at the person going in your direction and follow them! This ends up being really fun and it actually is pretty easy! Check out the video or download the step sheet to give it a try.

https://youtu.be/j_PELRa0cFw
Demo & Teach Video

 

9. Boot Scootin’ Boogie

Count: 32 Wall: 4 Level: Beginner

Choreographer: Tom Mattox & Skippy Blair
Music: Boot Scootin’ Boogie by Brooks & Dunn

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Boot Scootin’ Boogie is actually a line dance not often seen in So. Cal. but is one I wish was. While I’m a recent convert to the country dance scene, I’m a long-time country music fan and I had wondered, “Hey, what about Brooks & Dunn’s Boot Scootin’ Boogie?” I wondered if there was a line dance for a great classic that talks about line dancing! Well, sure enough, there is! In fact on the Copperknob website, there are 3 pages of step sheets to different versions of dances to the song!

If you love Brooks & Dunn as much as me and you want to have this one under your belt. On YouTube Bill Bader’s version is pretty common but in So. Cal. I’ve only seen people dance the Tom Mattox & Skippy Blair version. They both are 32 counts, but this one’s more of a beginner line dance.

https://youtu.be/Z9AXp61DNxQ
Demo & Teach Video

 

10. Two-Step (line dance)

Count: 16 Wall: 4 Level: Very Beginner

Choreographer: Robert Royston – Dance Y’All Crew (2013)
Music: Two-Step by Laura Bell Bundy featuring Colt Ford

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
The Two-Step line dance is not to be confused with the Two-Step partner dance! As explained in the video below from “Dancin’ with Patti” this is from the music video by Laura Bell Bundy found on YouTube. With only 16 counts this is a very beginner line dance. Reminds me a little of the Cupid Shuffle.

Fun fact: Robert Royston also more recently choreographed the line dance seen in Midland’s Mr. Lonely music video. So, another music video that people have now learned a line dance from.

https://youtu.be/xPL9kb0esps
Demo & Teach Video

 

11. Good Time

Count: 48 Wall: 4 Level: Improver

Choreographer: Jenny Cain
Music: Good Time by Alan Jackson

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Good Time, you’ll notice is actually not considered a beginner line dance! But it is very common and if you stick with it I think you’ll get it down pretty quick. The highlight to me is the toe-taps & rolling grapevines, first to right and then repeated (mirrored to the left).

Fun fact: In Alan Jackson’s music video of Good Time it shows him singing out on the road and trying to set the record for the longest line dance. 22 miles long it says at one point! There are different opinions about whether it’s true or not, some say it was a real honest attempt, but falls short of the actual record set in China. Please leave a comment if you know the real facts!

https://youtu.be/SyjibcFZlQI
Demo & Teach Video

 

12. Linda Lu

Count: 48 Wall: 4 Level: Improver

Choreographer: Neil Hale
Music: Linda Lu by Ricky Van Shelton

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Linda Lu is also another super common line dance called out and at 48 counts is aptly called by Copperknob an upper-beginner/intermediate line dance. This isn’t a favorite of mine w/ the “out-outs,” “in-ins.” Maybe it’s just me!

Teach Video
Demo Video

 

13. My Maria

Count: 32 Wall: 4 Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Choreographer: Mike Camara & Dan Albro (1996)
Music: My Maria by Brooks & Dunn (a Cha-Cha at 136BPM)

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
My Maria is another beginner / intermediate, but at 32 counts not too hard. This is a great line dance to another great classic Brooks & Dunn song. The unique thing is that it is a Cha-Cha line dance. The Shuffles between alot of the steps are 3 steps: Cha-Cha-Cha. The pivot-hooks are a lot of fun too.

Teach Video
https://youtu.be/TwsoB_UamOc
Demo & Teach Video

 

14. Rock Me

Count: 32 Wall: 4 Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Choreographer: Donna Manning & LeAnne Lesmeister (Mar 2013)
Music: Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Rock Me is my favorite line dance! I am a big Darius Rucker fan and his song Wagon Wheel is a great song. The rocking steps choreographed to “Rock Me” throughout the dance is pretty cool. I don’t see it called every night but it should be! So good!

https://youtu.be/j_P9IosMvSk
Demo & Teach Video

 

15. A Little Bit Lit

Count: 32 Wall: 4 Level: Beginner +

Choreographer: Rob Fowler (2017)
Music: Lit by Trace Adkins

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
A Little Bit Lit is a dance that is taught a lot on the weekends at the Ranch Saloon. A good one for beginners. And like some other line dances on this list just a really great country song to dance to. Lyrically the song Lit is amazing. A fast and fun song. Included below is the lyric video!

Demo & Teach Video
Trace Adkins Lyric Video for Lit

16. Slappin’ Leather

Count: 40 Wall: 4 Level: Beginner

Choreographer: Gayle Brandon (California modified version, 2016)
Music: Footloose by Kenny Loggins and Blake Shelton (alt: T.R.O.U.B.L.E. by Travis Tritt)
Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Slappin’ Leather
is a very famous line dance that is considered a beginner dance. You can dance this to the Footloose song from the movies, but the movies actually didn’t have Slappin’ Leather as part of their choreography. The Footloose movie features the more advanced line dance Fake ID. Click here to go to my post that talks all about that.

Slappin’ Leather has a part in it (the Slappin’ Leather part!) that seems pretty intermediate and takes some coordination! But the dance is just too fun and famous not to include it here. This dance is going to pretty much get called almost every night depending on the club your at. There are many variations of it throughout the world, but the step sheet and the video here are the So. Cal. version.

Fun Fact: Slappin’ Leather was used in an episode of the TV Show Pretty Little Liars.

Demo & Teach Video

 

17. Outlaw

Count: 32 Wall: 4 Level: Beginner

Choreographer: Suzanne Wilson (Norco, CA Style)
Music: Whiskey Drinkin’ S.O.B. by Mikel Knight

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Outlaw is a pretty popular dance but is one of the line dances out there that isn’t to a country song. Country rapper Mikel Knight doesn’t really fit at all in my opinion of what country music and country dancing is about, but people love the dance!

Demo & Teach Video

 

18. Tush Push

Count: 40 Wall: 4 Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Choreographer: Jim Ferrazzano (1979)
Music: Chattahoochee by Alan Jackson

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Tush Push has been called the most popular line dance in the United States for the last 20 years! There’s a great story about how Jim Ferrazzano came up with the dance over a period of time, to check it out click here. One thing interesting is that it’s kind of 2 dances in one. This is because it was only 1/2 written for months. When completed, the final steps were cha-cha steps setting them apart from the first part of the dance.

Note: When you download the Step Sheet you’ll notice there are 6 options included on the 2nd page!

Teach Video

 

19. Country Girl Shake

Count: 32 Wall: 4 Level: Improver

Choreographer: Michele Adlam & Maria Hennings Hunt (2011)
Music: Country Girl (Shake it for Me) by Luke Bryan

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
Country Girl Shake is another really popular line dance. There are a few variations out there, but I think this demo and Teach video along with the step sheet will get you really close to whatever you might see.

Demo & Teach Video

 

20. Ten-Step

Count: 18 Wall: 0 Level: BeginnerLine / Partner

Choreographer: Unknown
Music: Devil Went Down to Georgia by the Charlie Daniels Band

Step Sheet: Click here to download.
The Ten-Step is actually not a line dance! The Ten-Step would really be considered a partner dance. As such, you can dance it with a partner, but it is commonly danced individually and so much fun that I wanted to include it. It is also easy! Like most partner dances it is danced in a circle (counter-clockwise) on the dance floor.

One common song to hear when it is called is Devil Went Down to Georgia. The beat is fast and its a lot of fun when the band speeds up the tempo toward the end to challenge both the fiddle player and the dancers to keep up, ’til, of course, they can’t!

So, if dancing with a partner, you do so in the sweetheart position or just holding hands. But, if individually you get the fun option to spin during the shuffle steps that occur between the “10-step” part. (altogether it is an 18 count dance).

And if by chance you watch the video below taken at the Cowboy Palace in Chatsworth and struck by the particular magic and charm of this scene click here to read the recounting of my experience there. It truly is an awesome country dance bar.

Demo Video
Demo of the Ten-Step at the Cowboy Palace in Chatsworth

 

Some Beginning Line Dancing Basics

So there it is! My list of what I think are 20 of the easiest and also popular line dances out there right now. In addition to the dances themselves here’s a little more information about line dancing if you’re new to all this and a little confused about what is happening out there on the floor–I know I was!

A couple of things to know about if you’re new! Line dances are typically 16, 32, 40 or 48 steps (based on the level of difficulty) You may have noticed these numbers are all divisible by 8! Most popular music has a 4/4 time signature, but dancers count beats in sets of 8, hence line dance choreography is grouped and taught in sets of 8 or with “8-count.”

Next (and the other major thing), line dances are known for having one, two or four walls. A one-wall dance means everyone will face in the same direction when all steps are performed. A two-wall line dance is when at the end of each sequence of steps everyone has turned 180º and you begin again facing the back — for these dances, you will always just face the “front” and “back” walls. Then, with a four-wall line dance (the most difficult), at the end of the steps, everyone has turned 90º and “begins the dance” again facing one of the “side” walls. As the dance progresses you will keep finishing and starting again facing a new wall.

TIP: When first learning and taking a class it is tempting to hide in the last row! But as you may have already guessed, that’s a bad idea! As soon as the dance has moved on to the back wall, if you were in the back, you are now in the front! You can’t see anyone and everyone is looking at you! So, find a good spot somewhere in the middle and you’ll be able to always watch someone who knows what they are doing!

With 20 line dances to learn and a couple of basics, you are ready to get involved in this fun activity. Like anything else in life, it takes some just plain jumping headlong in and learning as you go!

Brian Sheridan

I'm the owner of CDT. I live in Fullerton, California, and enjoy country dancing with my friends at least once a week.

7 thoughts on “20 Beginner Line Dances You Need to Know!

  1. I have just begun teaching line dancing at a Senior Citizens’ Center. I am enjoying this very much and really do appreciate your line dances and their step sheets. Thank you.

    1. That is so awesome that you are starting up some lessons. Good luck with the new venture and I’m glad you are finding some of the posts helpful.

  2. I’m going to be teaching a line dance class this week – I’ve only been line dancing once [though, I have lots of other dance experience]. I think the community will enjoy it.

    ~ Thanks for the resource ~

    1. Wow! That’s crazy! Well, I hope all goes well and I hope some of the videos, step sheets, etc. come in handy!

  3. My line dancing friends and I are starting a new venue in Carroll Twp., PA just south of Pittsburgh, PA. We have been in a line dancing group for about 8 years but the dancing was done to music other than country. We have broken away from that group since we prefer country music and we’re excited about the dances. Thank you for sharing this blog. I’m sure that it will be most helpful.

    1. Thanks so much, Denise for sharing! I’m with you on this–I also prefer the dances to country music! Good luck with your new group!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts