Dancing in Seattle

Updated February 23, 2013.

Every part of the world where they do country-western and line dancing has things that they do a little bit different.  Here are some of the ways we dance in Seattle that you may want to know about for the Emerald City Hoedown.

Couples Dancing

  • Our DJs generally “call” a song’s dance style (except for Two-Step and Waltz) — “Next is a West Coast Swing” — to ensure that local dancers know how to best utilize the small dance floor we are used to.  During the hoedown weekend, we will have sufficient room in the country couples ballroom for multiple dance styles to use the floor at once.
  • Two-Step: We dance Two-Step “slow slow quick quick”, also known as San Francisco-style Two-Step.  The lead action comes at the first slow, with turns and moves mostly occurring on the “slow slow” and often having a swing “rock step” feel to the “quick quick”.  Some QQSS (Progressive Two-Step) dances will be able to dance our two-step as a traveling single-rhythm swing or like a faster Shuffle/Triple-Two (replace the triples with single steps).  We will have a “translation” class on Friday, to help those familiar with either version of Two-Step dancing the other style.
  • Night Club: We dance and teach Night Club as “slow quick quick”.  You may also be familiar with Night Club Two-Step, as “quick quick slow”.  We will typically play only SQQ Night Club music in the country couples ballroom and only QQS music in the Swing room.  The step pattern is dictated by the music played, so dancers of either style should be able to adjust to the other rhythm and still dance almost any patterns you have learned.
  • West Coast Swing: In the country couples ballroom (and on Thursday and Sunday nights, when there is only one couples dance room), be sure to leave a dance lane on the outer edge of the floor.  There will likely be Shadow and even Two-Step or Shuffle/Triple-Two dancers on the floor at the same time.
  • Shadow: While some parts of the country dance Shadow to songs in the 120 bpm range, we dance Shadow it primarily to slow West Coast Swing-rhythm music (sometimes swingy cha cha songs) in the 90–100 bpm range.
  • Polka and Cha Cha: We do not generally dance Polka or Cha Cha in Seattle.  Some Polka and Cha Cha songs in the 100–110 bpm range get played and used for Two-Step, and some Cha Chas in the range get played and used for West Coast Swing.  Feel free to dance genuine Polka and Cha Cha to those songs, and our DJs will be able to some specific Polkas and Cha Chas by request.

Line Dancing

  • In recent years, Seattle has trended toward the more popular newer line dances, while keeping some of the older and even classic early line dances in our repertoire, so that we have nearly 80 dances being done with some regularity.
  • There will only be limited line dancing in the main country couples ballroom on Friday and Saturday nights, primarily dances expected to fill the floor.  If a song is played which you want to line dance to, though, by all means use a portion of the center of the dance floor, leaving plenty of room for the regular couples dancers.
  • Barn Dance (Wild Wild West): At the end of the dance cycle, move to the partner to your right.
  • Cowboy Cha Cha: Our version of this dance is an 80-count couples circle dance.  This one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDPTqyEbqV4
  • Slap Leather: We have danced a 34-count variant of this for decades.  We dance the general pattern in this step sheet, but dropping counts 5 6 (heel front, toe back) in the second segment.
  • Hold Your Horses: We dance the second tag three times rather than once, which makes the rest of the dance match up with the lyrical pattern.

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Got Questions?  E-mail hoedown@raincountrydance.org