Dances 1 - 7 are the A - B series for Absolute Beginners. This introduces most of the key basic ideas and steps of Linedance in the simplest possible way. A detailed explanation and analysis of the objectives and uses of these 7 dances can be found on the A-B SERIES notes page.
Dances 8 - 40 are a suggested group of further beginner dances intended to introduce all the important ideas, orientation, turns, sequences and steps. These include 40 count dances, kick ball changes, extra turns, monterey turns, switches, 3/4 turns etc.
Dances with syncopated steps and the three waltzes are evenly spread through the programme, and hence have their own carefully calculated progression within the main programme. Note that the first 10 dances do not use any syncopated steps, which has long been thought of as an essential approach.
NB - Other dances could obviously be substituted for the suggested ones, but care should ideally be taken not to introduce complications too early such as more difficult steps or turns.
The beginner who completes THE BEGINNERS DANCE PROGRAMME above or something extremely similar would be very well placed to start tackling more challenging dances.
Another key feature of Symphony Shuffle is that it is a perfect dance for "contra" lines. Obviously, it should be confidently mastered first, but once mastered it can easily be danced "in contra." It is perfect for contra as it is two wall and has very substantial forward movement.
The second waltz in the series. It is a particularly easy four wall waltz with just one quarter turn. It allows the beginner a further chance to dance to 3/4 time but with a dance that is a clear step up from AB Waltz, without any particular complications. It introduces "holds". As stated earlier re AB Waltz, many but certainly not all dancers do have some difficulty with 3/4 time at first, especially if they have no previous experience of it, and need particularly easy waltzes initially to acclimatise to the timing.
Woman Trouble is a very, very basic and easy two-step. It can be danced to a wide range of two-step tracks. It is basically a stepping stone between Cowboy Charleston and, for example, Ribbon of Highway or Country 2 Step, both of which are far more difficult dances than Cowboy Charleston. The rhythm is consistently slow, slow, quick, quick, slow with no variation, except for the two Charleston steps. Both Ribbon of Highway and Country 2 Step are really great dances but include rhythm changes, which tend to confuse early beginners. The dance also introduces lock steps which are unlikely to cause much difficulty.
This dance was specifically written in order to teach a single 1/2 monterey turn. It is a very easy dance - 32 counts and just two walls. The dancers will be proficient with the 1/4 monterey turn in Precious Time and will be ready for the single 1/2 monterey turn. It goes really well to all 3 suggested tracks and many other tracks as well but it does go particularly well to Live To Love Another Day by Keith Urban.
Simply Rock introduces scissor steps which may present some difficulties for some dancers and may need careful teaching. It also includes forward and back Mambo steps but as side mambos will be familiar from Cajun Thang these are very unlikely to be any problem. It goes well to the original track Rock This Planet by Billy Ray Cyrus, On A Mission by The Grants on Fever 11 and Mariana Mambo By Chayanne.
ELECTRIC SLIDE - a great beginners dance - no question - but definitely not as easy as The Freeze which, at number 6 in the programme, is far more easily learned at that stage and is therefore more practical, particularly bearing in mind that the aim is to teach people how to linedance and not linedances. Electric Slide can easily and very quickly be taught later, after THE BEGINNERS DANCE PROGRAMME is completed.
COWGIRL TWIST - another superb beginners dance but there are a great deal of twists - more than in Twist-em and they are spread throughout the dance - so they are more difficult to substitute. Many beginners start linedancing "to get fit", and may well be the last candidates for large numbers of twists. In Twist-em - any dancer not wanting to twist can very easily gently bounce for 8 counts instead. So Twist-em is preferred to Cowgirl Twist. Finally, Cowgirl Twist doesn't have any other particular feature to help beginners progress. Of course Cowgirl Twist can be taught very quickly after THE BEGINNERS DANCE PROGRAME is completed.
TEXAS STOMP - another very neat dance but there are two problems. There are 7 stomps - which does seem unnecessary and is not really ideal for health. They could be taught as touches but that is 7 counts altered. More importantly the turn on count 32 is fairly vicious, potentially risky for a beginner and is simply best avoided, as there are plenty of reasonable alternatives.
FUZZY DUCK SLIDE - Unfortunately, there is some confusion with Fuzzy Duck Slide. It is a very old "classic" dance and some old stepsheets show the turn is to the left. Others however (eg Teach Yourself Line Dancing 1998) show the turn is to the RIGHT and this is the direction that is now widely and very largely used. Very sadly, Fuzzy Duck Slide has now had to be removed from the programme as it has caused some confusion which is ultimately not acceptable. It remains a very good AB dance for those choosing to use it but cannot really continue to be an integral part of the programme.
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