Line dancing, at its heart, is pretty simple – people dance together in a line. But it’s so much more. To add further nuance, line dancing originated in the United States sometime between the 1950s and 1980s, featuring repeated choreography by performers assembled in grid rows and columns. Generally, the dancers don’t make physical contact with another, according to Live About.
Gibson’s Hall and Honkytonk Club is a country dance spot in southeastern France, serving as the backdrop for droves of wonderful line dances over the years.
Dozens of dancers make their way into the club to let loose on the line dance floor. The song “So Sorry Mama” by Whitney Duncan starts playing while a group of line dancers assemble in the large dance hall. The performers self-organize into seven rows and five distinct columns, yielding 35 total line dancers.
In unison, they perform a series of steps and claps essentially in place.
A group of onlookers observe and discuss among themselves, likely reflecting on the dance or ways to personally improve.
Cowboy hats and boots are commonplace. Most of the males are wearing button-up long sleeves with unique, Midwestern patterns. With their hands on their hips, the dancers kick their toes and boots up to the music.
Eventually, the song “Fake ID” by Big and Rich, featuring Gretchen Wilson starts playing. The tune actually appears in the 2011 film Footloose, a remake of the 1984 film by the same name starring Kevin Bacon. A new group of dancers enter the fold, ready to get things going.
They begin to clap and step to the beat. Each performer seems to be giddy with excitement.
Scholars and historians disagree about the true origins of line dancing, with some tracing its origins to pre-1900s folk and dance styles such as polka and waltz. Others credit the disco era for popularizing line dancing, which eventually carried over to country-western tunes. Modern line dancing likely draws influence from all of these phenomena, rolling together to make one truly unique American style.
The unit moves to the music, throwing in dashes of boot-touching and side-steps. Another discussion breaks out among a group of people reflecting on their moves. Their cowboy hats add to the stylistic flavor.
A separate group of line dancers assemble, adding a competitive contrast to the original group.
A floor-based view shows greater detail of the choreography. Pivots and side-steps are featured throughout the performance.
The original group comes back into the frame, performing a series of crisp moves as a unit before descending into a fitting finale. The performers finish with their hands held high.
Gibson’s Hall and Honkeytonk Club features some fleet-footed dancers, that’s for sure. The final performance is especially complicated and precise, but the performers make it look easy. They stay in perfect unison throughout the showing.
Line dancing is more than just people dancing in a line. It’s a fun style with unique historical roots, evolving into a world-famous cultural phenomenon. Gibson’s Hall and Honkytonk Club of southeastern France perfectly depicts the power of the line dance – a style for common folk of all backgrounds, transcending language and borders. Keep dancing.
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