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According to Dance Facts, line dancing can be traced back to the 1950s when a dance called the Madison became popular across the United States. The San Francisco Stomp followed in 1961, but it was not until the 1970s when country-western dance routines gained mainstream attention. Films such as “Saturday Night Fever” in 1977, which mixed line dancing with disco, helped to propel these dance genres into the spotlight.

The 1980s brought another film that popularized line dancing, “Urban Cowboy,” which romanticized country culture. Billy Ray Cyrus’ hit song “Achy Breaky Heart” also had a significant impact on mainstreaming country-western music and line dancing.

But what sets line dancing apart from other forms of dance? In her book about line dancing, Christy Lane explains that it involves people standing in lines and performing dance movements together.

The dance consists of patterned foot movements that are usually performed to a number of counts per sequence and then repeated. Line dances can be done on one-wall, two-wall, or four-wall formations.

What may surprise some is that line dances are not necessarily set to country music. As Lane notes, there are even line dances set to dubstep music.

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