The Whole Story…
Country dance is a grassroots dance sport born from entertainment after a hard day’s work. It is inclusive, casual and friendly. It is fun. It is accessible to people of all ages, abilities, sizes and shapes. It’s as much about participating as winning. It has a sense of community that is as strong as the spirit of competition. It is uniquely American, yet built on core values that are shared around the world.
Country dance is inseparable from the music that gives it form. Part of the appeal of country dancing is that it is linked to the most commercially popular form music in the world. There’s nothing exclusive about the stories and melodies that come from the experiences of the working class. Country dance can be traced back to rodeo socials in the west and barn dances to the east. You could find it in honky-tonks and dance halls. Country dance started as social dancing. These weren’t dances choreographed for royalty or commissioned by the wealthy. These were dances that came from working folks and were shared in a sense of community and celebration.
With the country music explosion of the late-80s and early-90s, there were groups of country dancers in most every small town dancing in honky-tonks, community centers, church basements, school gymnasiums and VFW halls.
The United Country Western Dance Council was born when people across the United States recognized this grassroots dance phenomenon. What would happen if these groups came together? What if there was a competitive circuit for country dancers?
Over time that vision became a reality. You can read about the history of the organization here: UCWDC History
When the founders of the UCWDC got together to form a competitive dance organization, they selected dances that came from the social arena: Schottische, pony swing, polka and two-step, They mixed in a smattering of popular dances borrowed from ballroom, like waltz, cha-cha and east coast swing. Keeping an eye on popular social dances, they added triple-two step, nightclub, and west coast swing and opened doors for line dance and team dancing.
Over the next 20 years, the competition format was refined and organized in a way that put country dance on a par with other dance forms. While the organization is committed to advancing country dance as a competitive dance sport, the UCWDC remains committed to making dance accessible to as many people as possible.
Join us, won’t you?