Anyone who tells you that line dancing is a thing of the past hasn't been to a dance hall recently (and clearly hasn't tried the electric slide). The dance form may have enjoyed its heyday in the 80s and early 90s, but there are still folks all over the country lining up and stomping along to their favorite classics and new releases.
Many of the famous line dances we know and love were choreographed by one man: Bill Bader. If you've ever stepped out on the dance floor during a line dance, it's more than likely you were following along to one of his fun line dances with the help of a great DJ.
This list contains the 10 line dance songs that you are most likely to hear at a dancehall. These are the classics, the legends, the staples of country line dancing. Please note that on this list you will not find "Footloose," because the original dance was not a popular line dance, nor "Cotton-eyed Joe" or "Cha Cha Slide". And no one wants to see you do the chicken dance or the hokey pokey out on that dance floor.
10. "Any Man of Mine" - Shania Twain
This song was crafted for the dancehall. Heavy on stomps and claps, it was practically served up by Shania Twain on a platter for line dancers. If you don't find yourself out on the floor stomping along when "Any Man of Mine" comes on, there's probably not much hope for you as a line dancer.
9. "Louisiana Saturday Night" - Mel McDaniel
The "Louisiana Kick," the song's accompanying dance, is energetic with plenty of kicks, claps and long weaves. And any song that begins, "Kick off your shoes and you throw them on the floor/dance in the kitchen till the mornin' light" deserves its own dance and a place on this list.
8. "Watermelon Crawl" - Tracy Byrd
Before there was the "Cupid Shuffle" there was Tracy Byrd's "Watermelon Crawl." In this fun, 1994 hit, a lovely participant at the Rind Country Watermelon Festival walks the singer through the dance steps of the "Watermelon Crawl." And with the accompanying line dance, you can bet you're going to wiggle and jiggle. With any luck, you might just be all you ever saw.
7. "Baby Likes to Rock It" - The Tractors
There was once a time in the mid-90s when you couldn't enter a country bar without hearing "Baby Likes to Rock It." Although the band has since become a one-hit wonder, the song lives on as one of country's favorite line dances. It also holds the current record for the largest country line dance, with over 12,000 participants dancing along to the song in Hong Kong in 2002.
6. "Indian Outlaw" - Tim McGraw
Still a huge hit in dancehalls today (check out the sexy video), "Indian Outlaw" has been a line dancing favorite since its release over 20 years ago. If you can ignore the song's lyrics, which prompted Billboard to call it either the catchiest song that was ever written or the stupidest, "Indian Outlaw" is a lot of fun to dance along with.
5. "Good Time" - Alan Jackson
In the 1980s-90s heyday, singles were commonly released with an accompanying dance. It's no longer common that a country single has a line dance released with it. Alan Jackson, a man who knows a little about line dances, bucked that trend with "Good Time."
4. "Copperhead Road" - Steve Earle
The alternative country music fan's line dance. You probably won't find the same crowd dancing along to this as you would to "Country Girl Shake it For Me." But don't head to any honky tonk, from Colorado to Wisconsin, without knowing the steps to this Steve Earle classic. We can give these girls credit for learning one or two steps.
3. "What the Cowgirls Do" - Vince Gill
This song is most famously associated with the "Cowgirl Twist," one of the most prevalent country music line dances. It's also a great dance for beginners, pretty sexy, and a whole lot of fun. Thanks, Vince Gill!
2. "Boot Scootin' Boogie" - Brooks & Dunn
From the start, this song was destined to be a classic of country line dancing. It is, after all, a tribute to country line dancing. There are at least 16 different dances associated with the song, although there is a version choreographed for the original Asleep at the Wheel release by Bill Bader which has set six consecutive world records for World's Largest Line Dance.
1. "Achy Breaky Heart" - Billy Ray Cyrus
If "Achy Breaky Heart" didn't start it all, it at least brought country line dancing to the national spotlight. Or would that be the international spotlight? "Achy Breaky Heart" has been translated into over 100 languages. This is the song you think of when you think of line dancing, no matter the language. Eat yer heart out, Miley.
This post was originally published on October 17, 2017.