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Thoughts on Line Dance Step Sheets

Dance Name:

It is most important to choose a good name which reflects the style of the dance and maybe the song title too.
Always search the Web to check that your chosen title has not been used before.
Remember that when someone is searching for your dance, it is better for you to have a unique title. Placing punctuation in the title will make it more difficult for those searching for the script or voting for it in charts.


Choreographer Name:

The name or names should be clearly shown. You may wish to indicate your country in full or abreviated.
i.e. UK, Fr. Austria, Australia etc.
Also you may want to add the date that the script was released.
i.e. May 2007, Jun. 07, etc.


Music:

The title of the song, the artist, the album name and other relevant details should be given.
You could include the Beats Per Minute (BPM) of the music.
You may decide to add the total duration of the track. (3m 46sec)
Also the version of the song : Album, Radio edit etc.
If the music is difficult to get, then include information as to how the song may be legally obtained.
If you have alternate music suggestions, include details of those too.


Dance Information:

Include details of Walls - 1,2,3 or 4 or Phrased.
Include the Difficulty level - typical examples are - Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced.
Where the dance is not a Phrased one, include the count per wall – 32, 24, 56, 96 etc.
Sometimes it is a good idea to include a detail of the style - Waltz, Hip-Hop, Rhumba etc.
Lead in or Intro. Before the dancer begins to dance the steps:
This is very important information, because starting at the wrong point will place the dancer in the wrong situation when it comes to Tags or Restarts etc.
Typically - Intro: 32 counts (24 secs) Start on Vocals.
The time is useful to the instructor when the count is difficult to determine.
It’s sometimes hard to decide whether the dance is performed to the fast or slow beat.


The Section Headings:

Try to keep the headings brief as they are a quick guide only. Use the descriptions of step groups in general use. Typically - Coaster, Sailor, Wizard, Lock, Anchor, Monterey, Chasse, Shuffle etc. Display them as Bold or CAPITALS in order to be clearer for the reader & to distinguish the headings from the main step instructions.


The Step Instructions:

The steps are numbered, and the step numbers should be separated by punctuation marks.
This is usually by a Comma or Hyphen. - typically 3,4 or 3-4.
Where the dance has steps in between the main beats an '&' symbol is used.

i.e. 3&4 Step instruction 3, Step instruction &, Step instruction 4
So, in this case there are Three instructions which coincide with Three musical points.
In some cases, in Irish Dances or some Latin dances the step is not in the Half way position between main rhythm beats. In this case the 'a' symbol is used.

i.e. 3&a4 or 1,2a3.
Insert a "Tab" between the step numbers and the step instructions. This helps with clarity.

i.e. 1,2 Step right to right side, Close left beside right.
You may want to advise the reader regarding the direction they should be facing after each instruction involving a turn.

i.e. 1,2 Make 1/2 turn to right, Step forward on left (6.00)
The (6.00) is the clock position relative to the start wall for that sequence.
At the end of the wall sequence, it is best to indicate what to do.

i.e. Begin again, Start again, Repeat from the beginning. etc.
This also segregates the main step instructions for Tags, Bridges and other items.


Tags, Bridges etc.:

The intructions should show where in the dance they occur and on which wall or after which wall. Also, the reader should be instructed on what to do at the end of the Tag etc.

i.e. Restart the dance from the beginning, or, continue from step 16. etc.


Endings:

Some choreographers like to end their dances on the front wall. This sometimes involves a short sequence of steps to achieve that result. The steps should be described in the same way as the preceeding main part of the dance.
I hope that this scribble of observations is of use to those just starting to develop their scripting skills and maybe some who are old hands too.
Remember that the script is often the only information the dancer has available.
Make it as clear, succinct, and well presented as possible. This will all help your dance to be adopted by the largest number of people.


Regards..........George