LineDanceSport. Taking A Step Beyond Social Dance.

Until recently, linedancing has been thought of as mostly a social activity taught in churches, clubs and a few dance schools. But for some students, it's steps and patterns have led to an interest in Ballroom dancing; making it much easier for them to le

Date added to ADN: Friday, Jan 27 2012
Originally Published: Friday, Jan 27 2012
By Melva Gail Smith


Until recently, linedancing has been thought of as mostly a social activity taught in churches, clubs and a few dance schools. But for some students, it&##39;s steps and patterns have led to an interest in Ballroom dancing; making it much easier for them to learn new skills. "Many of the social linedancers incorporate the basic steps and rhythms that are a part of the Ballroom dance scene," said Ira Weisburd, a world renoun dance choeographer who travels internationally with his linedance workshops. Having taught dance for over 30 years in southern Florida and abroad, he speaks from experience. "For example, we have many beautiful line dances to Rumba, Cha Cha, Tango, Swing, Disco, Rock N Roll, Waltz, Quickstep, and Mambo," he added. Combine the moves and technique of Ballroom into social Linedancing, and you have LineDanceSport, a new and challenging Sport that is about to break onto the dance scene in a big way.

"LineDanceSport has already been gaining popularity within the Ballroom Community and is on track to becoming one of the fastest growing dance cirriculm in 2012." said Peter Balkowski, who co-founded LineDanceSport with his partner Beth Web after taking Linedance and Ballroom Dance classes together. "We found that we were very interested in fusing the dance styles that we had been studying. Together we came up with an idea to expand the dance experience for linedancers by providing more options for enjoyment. We were able to excite others about it and our "little" idea grew into LineDanceSport." Peter said.


Working with dance experts throughout the world, they spent thousands of hours going over every pattern to assure consistency and accuracy of the material. With each of the dance professionals averaging more than 25 years of experience, they were able to translate the choreography into a consistent language to develop a comprehensive teaching and learning system. Made up of a system that includes dvd&##39;s manuals, charts, certification for professional instructors and medals for dance athletes, LineDanceSport is much more than a cirriculm. "Though competition is not for everyone, we can easily imagine LineDanceSport competitions being held parallel with Ballroom dance competition, with similiar rules, judging, and costuming. In addition, local studios could introduce LineDanceSport to schools in programs like that featured in the movie "Mad Hot Ballroom", in which professional dance instructors work with local schools as artists-in-residence. Each instructor or studio would oversee the training of one school in LineDanceSport patterns and techniques, culminating in a competition between the schools.," Peter explained.

Classes in LineDanceSport have already been featured in DanceVision Mastery Dance Camps in Las Vegas and instructional DVD&##39;s are currently available for purchase through the site. Featuring the rhythms from Ballroom, Latin, and others, LineDanceSport currently has more than 400 step patterns in the bronze and silver levels. When the addition of the gold level is in place it is expected to raise to nearly 600.

LineDanceSport is Ballroom dancing solo, and perfect for the single dancer who does not have a partner. In fact, dance schools may begin to see a rise in the number of students they teach; as they begin to reach an untapped audience. "The single dancer without a partner enjoys the ability to dance to the music using the same types of patterns/school figures that the couples are using. Studios and schools can use LineDanceSport to provide group classes without having to account for partners." Peter said. The average linedancer today dances to about a half a dozen rhythms and about thirty dance patterns. Nearly 60,000 linedances have been combined from these patterns, and are danced by linedancers worldwide. "If the current crop of linedancers can produce 60,000 linedances using just thrity or so basic patterns, imagine what experienced LineDanceSport dancers could do with a syllabus of nearly 600 patterns."

About the Author:

Melva Gail Smith is a disabled dance enthusiast from Louisville, KY who enjoys promoting the health and social benefits of both dancesport and linedancesport through her writings. Melva has written for USA Dance, as well as various online magazines; and is the inspiration of dance choeographer Ira Weisburd's Breathe Freely Campaign for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the AccessDance Network. Be aware that imagery is copyrighted and often licensed for use on AccessDance only. Copying of images is strictly prohibited.

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