the cactus club

Dance Steps and how we call them


These are basic descriptions of steps used in line dancing. Most of our dance sheets will fully say how you move your feet but this is a summary of the most common. The Call is what will be said as the dance is taught - if you remember the call, you will remember the dance. This is an aid, not the equivalent to square dance calling. Once you learn the dance - you are on your own.


BRUSH: Swing one foot past the other, lightly touching the ground. Call:Brush

BUMP: Maintaining foot position, transfer weight by bumping hips to side indicated. Call:Bump

CHA CHA: Three steps done over two beats counting 1&2 (can be Left, Right, Left or Right, Left Right) small and done in place - see shuffle.Call: Cha cha cha

CHARLESTON: A four count sequence, Step forward, Kick forward, Step Back, Point back - alternate feet can be started on Left or Right foot. Call: Forward, kick, back, together

COASTER STEP: Back, together with weight, forward Done over two beats with same timing as a cha cha. Can be done starting with either foot. Call: Coast er step, or back, together, forward

CROSS One step crosses over a standing foot - no weight change. Call: Cross

CROSS ROCK One foot crosses over the standing foot and weight moved to the crossed foot - usually followed by a weight change to the other foot. Can be a cross forward or back Call: Cross Rock

FLICK `Where one foot and lower leg is raised in a flick - can be in front, behind or to the side of the standing foot.

GRAPEVINE: Three steps of a four count sequence, consisting of a step to the side, passing the opposite foot behind (or occasionally in front). And another step to the side, with an open step to finish. The forth step can be - stomp, hitch, flick,kick, scuff - usually with no weigh change.Call: Side, behind, side

GRIND: Rotate hips slowly (and erotically!) from side to side. Or can be a Heel Grind - place heel forward and lift you body turning on the heel Call: Grind, or heel turn.

HEEL FAN: Two count sequence. Keeping weight on toes, fan the heel indicated out and close back together. cal: Fa-N(said over two counts)

HEEL STRUT: Two count sequence, tapping the heel forward, then stepping down on (flattening) the toe. Call: Heel Flat

HOOK: Right brought across left leg or Left over Right leg. Call: Hook

HOP: A jump on one foot hitching the opposite knee. Call:Hop

JAZZ BOX: JAZZ SQUARE or BOX . Basic - Cross leg over opposite, step back, side and close. Example: Step Right over Left leg, Back on Left leg, Side on Right to Right, Close Left to Right. variations - Start with a forward step, and end with feet apart. Also can end with a Cross rather than together. Jazz boxes will always be described fully. Can also involve a quarter or half turn or beat two or three. Call: Over, Back, Side, Together (or Cross)

KICK BALL CHANGE: A three step sequence performed in two counts. Kick foot indicated forward, step on the ball of that foot, and change weight stepping onto the other foot. Call: Kick, Ball, Change

LOCK: Usually part of a shuffle step - the second step with cross behind the first so the feet as locked. This shortens the travel of the shuffle. Call: Forward, LOCK, Forward

MAMBO: Three count (1&2) sequence consisting of a rock in any direction, a rock back, and step together. You can add an additional kick so timing becomes 1&2& Call: Mam-Bo Step

MAMBO TURN: Rock forward, Rock back turn towards back foot, Step foward. 1&2 turn - example Rock forward on the Right foor, Turn left as you rock back onto Left, Step forward on Right Call: Mam-Bo Turn

MONTEREY TURN: Four count sequence. Touch toe indicated to the side, turn on opposite foot and step together on first foot, touch second foot to side and step together. Can be done as quarter or half turn Call: Out,Turn, Out Together

PADDLE: Is usually a quarter turn where the first step is used like a paddle (Think of your body as a boat) .Step forward on Right and pull body round keep weigh on Left, turning left (or other foot start) Call Paddle turn, or pad-dle

PIGEON TOE: A two count sequence. Keeping weight on toes, split heels apart and bring them back together. Also known at other venues as BUTTERMILK or DOROTHY. Call: Pigeon Toe

PIVOT: A two count turn transferring weight from one foot to the other. Feet remain stationary during turn, as if they are nailed to the floor. Call: Half, Turn

POINT: Extend your leg, pointing the toe in the direction indicated. Call: Point

ROCK: A rocking motion transferring body weight from one foot to the other. Can be done in any direction with the weight moving on first movement and back again. Call Rock - Forward (or back) Or Rock, Rock if side movement

SAILOR SHUFFLE: Three step sequence to two counts of music. Step one foot behind the other, step other foot to the side, and close with first foot, Apparently resembles a drunken sailor (but don't fall over).Call: Sail-Ors Step

SCOOT: A short slide on the foot indicated, raising the other foot off the ground. Call: Scoot

SCUFF: Brush the foot indicated on the floor without placing weight on it. This is not a kick, the foot stays close to floor Call: Scuff

SHIMMY: A shake of the shoulders and upper body. Call: SH-IM-M-Y -over the beats required

SHUFFLE: Three step sequence to two counts of music. Step on first foot, close second foot, and step on first foot again in a 'cha cha cha'; rhythm. A Shuffle moves to cha cha timing. Call - Shu-ff-le over two beats or cha cha cha.

SLIDE: Dragging the foot indicated along the floor to the position indicated. Call: Slide

STEP: Indicates a change of weight onto the foot indicated. Call Step

STOMP: Hit the floor audibly with the whole foot. May or may not change weight. Down is weight change, Up is no change - Call: Stomp

SWEETHEART POSITION: Partner dance hold. Couple stand side by side, right hands held over follower's right shoulder, left hands held at waist level.

SWIVEL: Keeping weight on the toes, move both heels in the direction indicated, or keeping weight on heels move the toes in the direction indicated. Call Swivel and direction over beats

TAP: Indicates no change of weight. Call: Tap

TOE FAN: Two count sequence, keeping weight on heels, flick toe indicated out and back together. Call: Toe fan

TOE STRUT: A two count sequence touching toe with heel raised, then stepping down on (flattening) heel. Call: Toe, Flat

TOUCH: Indicates no change of weight. Call Touch

TWINKLE: A three count waltz sequence stepping one foot across the other, step the other foot to the side, and close together with the first foot
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UNWIND: A Turn after a Cross where the weight moves from the standing leg to the crossed leg. Call: Unwind

WEAVE: This was originally an 8 count step where the feet cross back and forward. Now it is usually a Grapevine that ends in a cross over. Two of these are a weave. Call: Side, behind, side, in front,side, behind, side, in front, (or together)