Have you ever taken a look at all the step sheets on a line dance website?  Copperknob, Kickit and many others compile all those dances and videos on their websites so everyone can choose which ones they would like to teach or learn. So many dances to choose from – how does the line dance selection committee wade through to find the right ones for competition? It isn’t an easy task on many levels especially with the selection committee is spread out all over the world. Fortunately, “there’s an app for that!”

How does the committee receive the dances to review?
There are different ways in which the dances can originate:
-Choreographers can submit the dances to the Committee Chair of Line Dance, Clive Eaton-Stevens
-Choreographers can be chosen by the Chair to choreograph
-Dances can be selected for review based on their social popularity
-Dances can be selected for review based on core principles, standards and methodology

Once the dances are submitted or suggested the videos are sent from the Line Dance Committee Chair to the committee for discussion. By utilizing “What’s App” all of the members can see and comment on the videos as they are received and make the determination to use the dance, modify it or decline it.  The first three ways of submission are self explanatory. Let’s explore core principles, standards and methodology.

The UCWDC has compiled a set of core principles for each dance based upon the roots of the genre of the dance.  The definition of core principles from Wikipedia is as follows: “Core Principles are those ideas and visions which members of a community are expected to share and adhere to.”

In this case the dance committee for the UCWDC community has created a set of principles for each genre of dance. When reviewing the dances, each Line Dance Committee member must know these core principles and apply them to their review of the video.  Let’s discuss a particular dance at this point to clarify that subject further.  Let’s look at our newest addition to the line dance competition family, Samba.

Can you name some of the core principles that would be expected to be included in the Newcomer Division for this Pulse dance? Can you name another dance and its core principles as well?

At a very basic level the committee would be looking for core principles such as Samba Basics, Voltas and Bota Fogos.

Standards and Methodology
Standards as defined by Wikipedia…“…a level of quality or attainment.”
synonyms:quality, level, grade, degree, worth, caliber, merit, excellence
“the standard of work is very good”
“…an idea or thing used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations.”

Methodology as defined by Wikipedia… “…a system of methods used in a particular area of study or activity.”

These standards and methodology have been created through many different genres of dance for the country western community to include the dance committee for the UCWDC, ballroom, swing, folk dancing and others. These standards and methodology can include but are not limited to foot strike, percentage of weight change, frame, timing, rhythm, motion, character, rhythm posture vs. smooth posture, line of dance, movement, etc.

Please join a Fundamentals A and B class at your next event to learn more about each dance in our sport.

Other criteria taken into consideration when choosing the competition line dances include the following:

  • Does the choreographer show proper floor management and flow?
  • Is the dance appropriate to the level it has been assigned?
  • Is the music appropriate to the level?
  • Is the music appropriate for the audience?
  • Does the dance have tags and restarts?
  • How many wall changes does it make?


Thank you for reading this article.  If you have any questions, please contact linedancechair@ucwdc.org.  Please submit your dance videos for the committee to consider, suggest a dance for competition or choreograph a dance to send for consideration.  The committee is always looking for dances. We look forward to your input and assistance to make this the best experience for our competitors.

Line Dance Committee Chair:  Clive Eaton-Stevens       UK
Committee Members:
Keith Armbruster            Canada
Donna Caudill                 US
Yvonne Dunn                  UK
Beth Emerson                 US
Audrey Gendre              France
Judy McDonald             Canada
Barbara Seelt                Holland
Louis Van Hattem          Holland
Brigitte Zerah                 France

Kind Regards,
Clive Eaton-Stevens
UCWDC Line Dance Committee Chair

w. www.ucwdc.org                         p: +44 7742.428872                                     e: linedance@ucwdc.org

Written by: Clive Stevens, Line Dance Chair, Superstar and Master World Champion and Donna Caudill, Committee member, Crown Superstar and 5 time World Champion, Line and ProAm.