If you’ve visited a honky tonk or country western dance hall, you’ve probably seen couples doing the Country Swing. This relatively easy, high-energy dance features basic moves common to most types of swing dancing, as well as unique moves perfectly suited for the style and tempo of modern country music. Rely on the dance professionals at Arthur Murray to show you how to dance the Country Swing. Combined with our well-deserved track record for excellence in dance instruction, our mixture of individual lessons and group lessons will have you out on the floor in no time.
What Is the Country Swing?
The Country Swing is a partner dance related to the Hustle, a solo and partnered disco dance popularized in the mid- and late 1970s. Like the partnered form of the Hustle, the Country Swing requires dancers to remain in one spot rather than moving down the dance floor. However, while the Hustle has a three-count step pattern or a six-count step pattern, the Country Swing has a four-count pattern. Dancers use this pattern to perform a basic move called a rock step, which allows for quick shifts in body weight.
From the rock step, dancers can execute any one of a series of moves that go by names such as the Basic, the Turning Basic, the Push-Pull, the Pretzel and the Butterfly. Each of these moves has its own characteristic set of turns and spins. Because the Country Swing requires only a small amount of space, it’s often a go-to option for crowded dance floors.
Basic Country Swing moves are quite easy to perform, and many people just getting started in country western dance begin with these moves. However, advanced forms of the style often feature intricate moves that rely on a high degree of coordination between the leading and following partner. The dance experts at Arthur Murray show you how to pick up the essence of Country Swing, so that you can head out to the dance halls and put it into practice. As you progress in the style, they can also show you how to safely and accurately perform the dance’s more complicated moves.
History of the Dance
Country Swing and all other forms of swing dancing have their origins in jazz dance styles of the 1920s and 1930s. In addition to the Swing, these styles went by names that included the Lindy Hop and the Jitterbug. A more recent main influence is the Hustle (also known as the New York Hustle), a dance that gained nationwide popularity after the movie Saturday Night Fever hit the theaters in the 1970s. Because it features a four-count beat rather than the Hustle’s three- or six-count beat, some people refer to the Country Swing as the Four-Count Swing. Pony Swing is a third term sometimes used to describe this dance.
The dance professionals at Arthur Murray have a deep understanding of traditional and contemporary swing dancing, as well as the Hustle. They use this understanding to place the Country Swing in its unique frame of reference as a history-rich dance. At the same time, they make sure that their instruction retains a modern vibe and a tremendous sense of fun and adventure.
How Do We Teach You Country Swing?
Arthur Murray begins Country Swing instruction with the classic rock step, a simple maneuver that gets you used to shifting your weight back and forth between your left and right sides. Once you get the rock step down, you will learn some of the more basic moves that give the dance its fun, swirling style. Some people halt their training at this stage and head straight for the dance hall or honky tonk. However, if you wish, you can continue on and begin to pick up advanced swing moves that demonstrate a higher level of skill. Whichever path you choose, your training will progress in a straightforward manner with clear, achievable goals for you to reach.
At Arthur Murray, we rely on a mixture of individual and group lessons to teach you the basics and finer points of Country Swing. Individual lessons give you the opportunity to get your bearings, learn the essentials of swing dancing in general, and learn the core elements that make the country style of swing distinct and unique. Group lessons give you the opportunity to build on your knowledge, meet other students learning Country Swing, and gain understanding of the etiquette that makes for a pleasant social experience on the dance floor. In addition to these lessons, you will have the opportunity to take part in regularly scheduled dance parties that let you practice your skills in a fun, energetic environment.
Why Choose Arthur Murray?
Arthur Murray is widely recognized as an industry standard in dance instruction. Unlike other companies, which typically don’t require staff members to meet a minimum training standard, we only hire professionals who can demonstrate mastery of the styles we teach. In addition to knowing how to dance at an advanced level, our instructors know how to relay information to you in a friendly, inspired manner that increases your desire to learn and participate. Every lesson you receive features this unique mix of skill, enthusiasm and teaching expertise.
Learning how to dance at an Arthur Murray studio is also convenient and affordable. You can start your training with a $20 introductory session that explains the basics of Country Swing and a range of other dances. If you enjoy this lesson (and we believe you will), you can begin a course of additional lessons that meets your specific needs. If you want to start dancing right away, you can take just enough lessons to get you comfortable and establish basic competency. However, you can also progress through a longer series of lessons on your way to gaining mastery, and even dance at a competitive level of proficiency.
Trust the Country Swing Experts
Arthur Murray Dance Studios are Southern California’s home for Country Swing and all other forms of country western dance. Simply put, if you want to learn how to dance to country music, there’s no finer option available. With our common-sense pricing, private lessons, and group lessons led by seasoned instructors, we work hard every day to help you succeed in adding the pleasure of dance to your current lifestyle.