BEGINNER LINE DANCE
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USEFUL INFORMATION FOR BARN DANCE AND LINE DANCE EVENT ORGANISERS
Holding a BARN DANCE , LINE DANCE or WILD WEST PARTY, WESTERN EVENING or a WESTERN THEMED EVENT is one of the best ways of solving your entertainment problem if you have to cater for people of varying ages and abilities. The ONLY form of Entertainment that can get IMMEDIATE AND INSTANT audience involvement and FUN without any previous dancing experience, skill or rhythm is a BARN DANCE, SQUARE DANCE orWILD WEST PARTY, WESTERN STYLE EVENING or WESTERN THEMED EVENT organised by one of our Callers.
A big advantage of a BARN DANCE, SQUARE DANCE OR LINE DANCE ,WESTERN EVENING or a WESTERN THEMED EVENT is that you get the ULTIMATE SOCIAL MIXING EXPERIENCE—simple and easy Dances are generally used to encourage beginners and those who have not been to a WILD WEST PARTY, WESTERN PARTY OR WESTERN THEME event.
A BARN DANCE, SQUARE DANCE OR LINE DANCE, WILD WEST PARTY, WESTERN PARTY, WESTERN EVENING OR WESTERN THEME event Is absolutely ideal for people who have little or no Dancing skills because most of the movements are natural to all of us—like linking your arm with someone else or holding hands to form a circle, you see these things happening every day— for example in a School playground.
The Dances movements used are often hundreds of years old and have been passed down through generations, CONTINUING TO BE POPULAR because they are easy to use, simple and fun.
LINE DANCING or LINE DANCES are more modern and have their own steps.
LINE DANCES OR LINE DANCING mainly involve Dancing on your own–HOE DOWN, BARN DANCE AND SQUARE DANCES involve dancing in couples and in sets ranging from 2 couples to 10 couples or more—in Circles, Squares or Longways—numbers dont really matter as long as there are enough people to fill up your Dancing space.
Each Dance lasts around 10 minutes including a walk through by the CALLER to learn the steps and changes—the EVENT can be run for 3 or 4 hours with breaks between Dances of around 10 minutes.
For longer functions such as Weddings and Parties of 4, 5 or 6 hours you may like the UNIQUE option of asking THE CALLER to play COUNTRY AND WESTERN music from his collection of COUNTRY MUSIC—-this is called COUNTRY AND WESTERN DISCO.
In addition other music such as Party and Disco favourites may be included if required.
The breaks between Dances allow you to get your breath back and socialise with friends whilst listening to background music which keep the toes tapping away whilst looking forward to the next Dance.
To ensure your guests at the BARN DANCE, SQUARE DANCE, LINE DANCE OR WILD WEST PARTY, WESTERN EVENING or a WESTERN THEMED EVENT know what to do THE CALLER is your MC, Teacher and Instructor, using his knowledge and experience to decide which Dances best suit the audience as regards speed and complexity, CALLING out changes in movements as they occur during each HOE DOWN, BARN DANCE, SQUARE DANCE OR LINE DANCE.
When the Dancers progress under the Instructions of the THE CALLER during the evening to more complicated Dances never worry about remembering the movements and changes—it is the job of the Caller to remind everyone what to do–when to do it and who do it with! This is why he will often politely refuse offers of large amounts of alcohol! If he cant remember what to do—you have no chance!
The Music at THE EVENT will be a very wide mixture depending on whether its background Music like Saloon Piano Music, or Themes from various TV series or films, moving to more lively traditional American tracks for the HOE DOWN, BARN DANCE and SQUARE DANCE.
For LINE DANCES or LINE DANCING American Country and Western Music is used.
The Music for listening or Dancing is played either through a Sound System using recorded Music or if your budget allows a Live Band is used.
A BARN DANCE, LINE DANCE, WILD WEST PARTY, WESTERN STYLE EVENING or WESTERN THEMED EVENT can be held in most locations.
Ideally clothing should be reasonably authentic, check shirts and jeans always brighten up the event as well as Cowboy Hats.
This then allows the opportunity to present PRIZES to the best dressed Lady/Gent OR Boy/Girl at the EVENT in addition to a PRIZE for the Best Dancers.
For Dancing Footwear should be comfortable to allow for twisting and turning and dancing on less than perfect surfaces.
The Barn Dance was originated in Scotland in the 1860’s. The barn dance was also known as the “Pas de Quartre” which basically was a generic term for American Folk dancing in rural communities or the “poor people’s ballroom” of the times. It has been said to have first reared its head at the Gaiety Theater when Meyer Lutz composed the tune “Pas de Quatre.”
These parties were usually thrown after the raising of a barn or would be given as a birthday party, homecoming, or wedding etc. These dances were to merge with Square Dancing in the United States.
Barn dances were very popular up until about 1899 as farmers and common folk would usually not be invited to the fancier balls of the upper class. A typical occasion for a barn dance was a post “Barn Rasin’ party” to celebrate the raising of a neighbors Barn. Barn dances were sometimes referred to as a “General Ruckus or Ruckus”. In the 1930’s, Radio stations such as the WLS National Barn Dance Radio Show, would broadcast many Country and Western songs as well as featuring many Country artists of the day which would add the main link to combine Country music, Barn dancing and Square dances together.
Barn dances consisted of Waltzes, Virginia Reels, Reels, Buck dancing andBreakdowns, Corn Husking Dances, Jigs, Buck, Schottische, Quadrilles, dancing etc. Henry Ford (the Auto maker) was very fond of these and Square dances. When the media got involved in the early 1920’s (radio and Film), many times the Barn / Square dance scene would be dumbed down to a backwoods stereo typing, etc. Many times your “Abner, Jethro, Homer, and Elmer” (not the musicians) and were portrayed with a straw hat, corn Cobb pipe, raggedy clothes (like worn out overalls with one strap dangling off the shoulder) and shoes with worn out soles and appeared to have a third grade education, but many times it was far from the truth. Barn and square dances consist of fine, educated people who are just down to earth, family oriented and often types very religious.
However back in the day many of these people did come from the back woods and deeps hills, bringing with them an almost forgotten style of Music, Dance and culture. Some of these folks were so far back the nearest school was over 50 miles away and they only had a mule to ride. Thankfully the entertainment industry went lookin’ for them and thank god they found them, cause if they hadn’t, a lot of this music, dance and culture would be only a myth. Here is a good example … Uncle John Wilder, a fiddler, was already 80 Years old in 1926 … (Clip).
The term “barn dance” is usually associated with family-oriented or community-oriented events, usually for people who do not normally dance. The caller will, therefore, generally use easy dances so that everyone can join in.
A barn dance can be a Ceilidh, with traditional Irish or Scottish dancing, and people unfamiliar with either format often confuse the two terms. However, a barn dance can also feature square dancing, Contra dancing, English Country Dance, dancing to Country and Western music, or any other kind of dancing, often with a live band and a Caller. Modern Western square dance is often confused with barn dancing in Britain.
Barn dances, as social dances, were popular in Ireland until the 1950s, and were typically danced to tunes with 4/4 rhythms
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