line dancing is associated with country-western music and dance, it  has a similarities to folk dancing.[2] Many folk dances are danced in  unison with dancers arranged in one or more rows and often connected with the  dancers next to them; while these rows are described as “lines,” they may curve,  corner, or otherwise be nonlinear in the geometric sense. The Balkan countries, among others, have a rich tradition of line dance surviving to the  present. These folk line dances are also performed in the international  folk dance movement. Folk line dances have many forms: pairs of lines in  which the dancers face each other, or a line formed into a circle, or the line  follows around the dance floor. The dancers may hold hands with their neighbors,  or use an arm-on-shoulder hold, or hold their neighbor’s belts.[1]

The absence of a physical connection between dancers is, however, a  distinguishing feature of country western  line dance. Line dances have accompanied many popular music styles since the  early 1970s including pop, swing, rock  and roll, disco, Latin (Salsa Suelta), and  Jazz.[2]

The Madison was a  popular line dance in the late 1950s. The 1961 “San Francisco Stomp” meets the  definition of a line dance.[3][4] At least five line  dances that are strongly associated with country-western music were written in  the 1970s, two of which are dated to 1972: “Walkin’ Wazi”[5][6] and “Cowboy Boogie”,[7][8][9] five years before the disco craze created by the release of Saturday  Night Fever in 1977, the same (approximate) year the “Tush Push” was  created.[10] The “L.A. Hustle”  began in a small Los Angeles disco in the Summer of 1975, and hit the East Coast (with modified steps) in  Spring of ’76 as the “Bus Stop.[11][12] Another 70s line  dance is the “NutBush”.[13]

Over a dozen line dances were created during the 1980s for country songs.[13][14] The 1980 film Urban Cowboy reflected the blurring of lines between country music and pop, and spurred  renewed interest in country culture, and western fashion, music, and dance.[2] Many early  line dances, though, were adaptations of disco line dances.[15]“Boot Scootin’  Boogie” was choreographed by Bill Bader[16] in October 1990  for the original Asleep at the Wheel recording of the song of the same name.[17] The Brooks and  Dunn version of the song has resulted in there being at least 16 line dances  with “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” in the title,[18] including one by  Tom Maddox and Skippy Blair under contract to the recording company.[19]

Billy Ray Cyrus‘  1992 hit “Achy Breaky  Heart“, helped catapult western line dancing into the mainstream public  consciousness.[2] In 1994 choreographer Max Perry had a worldwide dance hit[citation  needed] with “Swamp Thang” for the song “Swamp Thing” by The Grid. This was a techno  song that fused banjo sounds in the melody line and helped to start a trend of  dancing to forms of music other than country. In this mid 1990s period country  western music was influenced by the popularity of line dancing. This influence  was so great that Chet  Atkins was quoted as saying “The music has gotten pretty bad, I think. It’s  all that damn line dancing.”[20]

Max Perry, along with Jo Thompson, Scott Blevins and several others, began to  use ballroom rhythms and technique to take line dancing to the next level. In  1998, the band Steps created further interest outside of the U.S. with the techno dance song “5,6,7,8“. In 1999  the Gap retailer debuted the “Khaki Country” ad on the Academy Awards  ceremony.[21] Line dancers  performed to the 1999 version of “Crazy  Little Thing Called Love” by Dwight  Yoakam.

Line dance now has very traditional dances to country music, and not so  traditional dances to non country music. It now uses more than just the  “stereotypical” country music, in fact line dancers dance to most styles of  music: country as well as modern pop, Irish, Latin  just to name a few.’

Line dancing is practiced and learned in country-western dance bars, social clubs, dance  clubs and ballrooms worldwide. It avoids the problem of imbalance of male/female  partners that plagues ballroom/swing/salsa dancing clubs. It is sometimes  combined on dance programs with other forms of country-western  dance, such as two-step,  and western  promenade dances, as well as western-style variants of the waltz, polka and swing.

The Macarena and the Chicken Dance, the  latter of which is danced in a circle, are other examples of line dance.

Line dancing reached Europe, nourished by the arrival of Country Music  Television,[22][23] and in 2008 gained  the attention of the French government