I teach a lot of line dancing, but I’m also a huge fan of couples dancing.  Lines are an excellent way to get started dancing, as you can learn steps and fully control your own movements.  Line dancers often “graduate” to couples dancing, which is always exciting.  And then the question poses itself to a line dancer: should I pursue freestyle couples dancing, or couples pattern dancing?  What’s the difference?

“Freestyle” refers to couples dancing where the leader is the only person who knows what move is coming next.  The moves that are done depend on which moves the leader has in his/her head; thus, the follower must strictly (and ALWAYS) follow the leader.  Every leader has a different repertoire, thus, every dance will be different, even if the same type of dance is done repeatedly with the same leader & follower.  For instance, if a leader knows five Two Step moves, (s)he will rotate between those moves throughout an entire Two Step song/dance, but they will not be led in exactly the same order from one Two Step dance to the next.

“Patterns” are like line dancing with a partner.  Dances are exactly as you would assume – a pattern of steps repeated throughout the song.  These are the fastest for line dancers to master, as the only thing that changes is the proximity of another person and the hand-holding/arm placement that goes with it.  The follower must still follow and the leader must still lead, but generally not as intensely as in freestyle couples dancing, as both partners know the steps and what is coming next.

Both forms of couples dancing are enjoyable!  Different clubs do more freestyle or more patterns, so it’s good to know some of each style.  The more you know, the more you can dance…and as Diamond Caryn says, we MUST DANCE!!

Just a reminder:  I’ll be teaching Two Step with my daughter Kat beginning THIS MONDAY, April 6, from 4:45-6 pm in Wheaton.  This class WILL RUN; I hope you will join us!!  More info is available thru this link: Program Guides or call 630-665-4710 to register.  Registration on site is also available.  The cost of the class is LESS than one hour’s usual fee for private lessons; it’s like taking one hour of lessons and getting 4 hours free!  Join us for FIVE hours of instruction on Monday; we’re half done with the review videos already!

Have a Happy Passover/Easter; I’ll see you on the dance floor!

Janet Kruse

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