1. Spinning is challenging
Country dancing is all about spinning and this is a skill that takes time and practice to perfect. Good balance and spotting are very important tools in executing sharp turns and spins. For the leaders, learning how to prep and lead turns properly is very important. Once you feel proficient in spinning, country two step becomes less intimidating. Check out this video for help with spins:
2. Creating a connection with your partner takes time
Emotional connection and finding a partner you can get along with is the first challenge. Next, the physical connection in partner dancing is challenging for many reasons. Different leaders and followers prefer different levels of strength, but overall there is a consensus about the way the push or compression should feel and the way the pull or opposition connection should feel. Check out this video for pro tips about connection and elasticity:
3. Dancing in a hat and boot takes some getting used to
Dancing in a hat looks very country and very cool, but it is a hard thing to do without knocking it off. This takes practice, especially when trying to execute complicated turns and wraps. Having your hat fitted well to your head can help. Finding a good quality pair of boots that are especially made for dancing will help you with your turns and balance. Wearing boots with strong shanks that are like regular street shoes will feel stiff and be difficult to dance in. Check out this article about what kind of shoes to wear for country dancing: or what shoes to wear for WCS dancing.
4. There are 8 different dances to learn and master
Country dancing consists of eight different dance styles or genres. This includes Triple Two Step, Polka, Night club two step, Chacha, Waltz, Progressive Two Step (check out our blog on What is Country Two Step- the one I just wrote), East Coast Swing, and West Coast Swing.
For more detail on this topic, check out our blog “What are the 8 Competitive Country Dances?”
5. Some folks love country dancing, but not country music
Many dancers do not enjoy listening to country western music, especially the honky tonk songs. But don’t worry, a good portion of the playlists in country bars and country competitions include modern or pop music as well. Perhaps you can find a few cross over country artists that you enjoy like Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain, or Luke Bryan, and request the DJ to play their songs.
TAKE ACTION> Download our List of 50+ 2-Step Songs
6. There are two different types of swing dancing
While there are lots of different kinds of swing dancing…. Country dancing has both west coast swing and east coast swing. Double the swing, double the fun! For a detailed description of the what these dances are and the differences of each style of swing, check out our blog on The Differences Between East Coast and West Coast Swing.
7. Country bars and dance floors are crowded
Floor crafting (maneuvering traffic on the dance floor) is an important skill to master in the country dance scene, as the dance floors tend me be crowded and often filled with intoxicated dancers and/or beginners. It is your responsibility to protect yourself and your dance partner from “on-coming traffic” and newbies that are all over the place. Dance etiquette is for the newer dancers to stay on the inner ring of the line of dance, so the more advanced dancers can zoom around the outer ring of the line of dance.
Let us know below in the comments, what your biggest struggles have been in learning and dancing country western?! We read the comments and your feedback helps us to create new resources and videos to help you in your country dance journey.