Welcome to the NVCWDA Primer for Newcomers! This primer is designed to help people who are newcomers to NVCWDA dances. If you are new, you might feel overwhelmed by the number of different dances we do every night. You might be wondering “where do I start?” Nobody can learn all of the dances right off the bat. Learning the steps takes some effort and practice, similar to what is needed to participate any other sport or activity.
We hope you like dancing with us and that this primer will “kick start” your dancing knowledge. Remember that everyone was new once, and we all have to take the time to come up to speed. Just stick with it and soon you will know a lot of dances.
If you like a particular dance and want to study it, ask someone for the name of the dance. We have stepsheets for many dances. You also can search online and find the stepsheets and videos for many dances. Having the name of the dance choreographer will help. Our Stepsheets and Demos Page lists several searchable stepsheet libraries.
A suggestion for new line dancers
Dance in the middle of the floor so that people surround you on all sides. This way, if you are trying to follow someone who knows the dance, when the dance faces a new wall, you still will have someone to watch in front of you. If you start at the edge of the floor, once you change walls, you might not have anyone dancing in front of you anymore.
Couples dances such as two-step and waltz are “lead and follow” dances. One partner leads the other partner into various moves on the fly. In “pattern” or “specialty” dances such as El Paso and Wooden Nickel, the dancers follow a choreographed sequence of steps that repeats throughout the song.
Dances popular at NVCWDA
Below, we’ve listed some dances we do at many NVCWDA dances to help you focus your early efforts. If you look at the stepsheets and demonstrations for these “old standbys,” you can study the moves and practice in private beforehand. Then at our dances, you will have an idea how to do several dances for various songs each night. For example, the DJ plays multiple Two Step and Waltz music during the evening, which is suitable for line or couples dancing. You will be able to get up and dance to several songs if you are familiar with some of the dances shown below. Once you gain confidence with these dances, you can move on to learn other ones. Before long you will have a bunch of dances in your memory banks and you will not sit down much during the evening because you always will be on the dance floor.
When dancing, we observe a courtesy called “dance floor etiquette” to avoid conflicts and collisions with fellow dancers! Please incorporate dance floor etiquette into your dancing. Thanks.
(The El Paso and Wooden Nickel can be done as a single as well.)
Two Step – Demo