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The objectives of the country dance activity are to learn choreography.
- Either for personal enjoyment
- Either to go to balls or festivals
- Either to get together with some dancing friends,
- Either train for public demonstrations.
the beginning of country dancing:
The origins of country dance come from Irish and Scottish folklore in parallel with country music born in the Appalachian mountains during the 18th century.
Nostalgic music, dreaming of faraway lands, music with syncopated rhythms (European folklore) which borrowed its tunes from the dances of Irish folklore enriched by other popular music.
This music accompanied village and family celebrations, which gave rise to the very first country dance for couples, which could be performed in a circle.
It was the time of the conquest of the west, cowboys, horses, leather boots, hats.
The decor of the country dance originated here.
The lone cowboys went from ranch to ranch, joining the dances, dancing alone but forming a group, imitating the steps and figures of the dancers in pairs. The "line dance" was born.
The syncopated and very rhythmic movements of Afro-American dances became popular before the 2nd war: cake-walk and charleston which were to influence country dance. Coming from the United States, brought by the soldiers, more and more new dances (swing, boogie, blues, jazz) made their entrance in Europe in popular balls.
From the 50's, coming from Be-bop, rock'n'roll will take the first place and the twist or hully gully will stay behind.
In 1962, a dance will make country and western dance known.
- Because it is danced in line,
- Because she dances in a group
- Because it offers this conviviality, this spirit of communion entering
- Because the dancers are executing the same steps at the same rhythm.
In France the "country western dance" started to be known in 1992-1993 with the arrival in Ile de France of the Disney Euro Park.
Robert Wanstreet born in LUTKAEN (America) in 1960 and Maureen Jackson introduced country western dance in France about fifteen years ago.
Barry Cluran helped Robert and Maureen in the development of country in France.
The first association in France is " les amis du Far West " created by Robert and Maureen.
Through Billy Bob's which is located at the Disney europark.
At the beginning the dancers castemembers made demonstrations then people wanted to dance.
Then the castemembers played the role of teacher and taught the dances to the public...
Robert Wanstreet DJ, was going to dance between two tracks and started giving some lessons in the years 92-93.
It was from there that country dance developed "in France.
Country and western dance in the 21st century : in the 80's, grease urban cowboy caused a rush in country dancing clubs : Cotton eye joe, two step, waltz, swing, and some line dance: tush push, four conner, stomp... .
Then came in 1992 the choreography : achy breacky heart of Billy racy cirus n°1 of the hits as well as cow-boy boogie.
It became a fashionable dance. We find it in 3 forms:
1) the most original and fun line dance.
Accessible to all, they can be counted by the thousands. From the shortest and simplest (8 steps) to the most complicated (132 steps).
2) Pair dancing: It is danced side by side and starts on the same foot for the rider and the woman.
(The mixer is a couple dance with a change of partner).
3) Freestyle dance with partner: Similar to the waltz, chacha, polka, etc. (The mixer is a couple dance with a change of partner).
A track etiquette is to be respected:
Different age group levels:
Cheyenne (children from 6 to 11 years old)
Apache (teenagers 12 to 17 years old)
Mustang (adults 18 to 30 years old)
Buffalo (adults 30 to 50 years old)
Coyotes (adults 50 years and older).
The championships bring together enthusiasts from many countries. There are no age criteria.
From the young to the not so young, couples or individuals, amateurs to professionals.
Several categories allow everyone to participate. A pro-am division allows students to compete in couple dance accompanied by their teacher, only the student is judged.
A pro-pro division also allows coaches to compete together.
These competitions have existed since the end of the last century. They give the means to meet each other
and to express themselves through local, regional, national and then international competitions.