Country Dancing

Welcome to the World of Tags and Restarts


For those of you who are new to line dancing, let me start by briefly explaining the terms “tag” and “restart.” Both are used by choreographers in their dance to stay with the phrasing of the song and/or lyrics. A “tag” is a step sequence that may be included once or several times during the dance. A “restart” is self-explanatory; whatever step sequence you just finished in the dance, you go back to the beginning and continue from there.

Classic dances choreographed years ago rarely included either tags or restarts. As the world of line dance has progressed, so have choreographers’ minds and abilities to create more intricate sequences of steps for dances. I recently discovered, much to my dismay, that some line dance teachers have a difficult time instructing their students to do tags and restarts.

I believe the resistance is two-fold; it comes from the instructor who is possibly reluctant (for whatever reason) to teach dances that have a tag and/or restart in them, plus seasoned students who have been dancing for many years and stubbornly think the dance “doesn’t need them.” It is a shame for either thought-process because I have found, through my many years of teaching, that the more you include tags and restarts, everyone becomes more familiar with them.

Please don’t misunderstand me; if you are an instructor and you feel your students cannot handle tags or restarts, choose dances that don’t have them. One of my ‘line dance pet peeves’ is when an instructor takes it upon her/himself to change the choreographer’s dance and disregard any tags or restarts. This is disrespectful to the choreographer and all the time and energy that he/she put into creating a unique dance!

Additionally, eliminating a tag or restart is a disservice to the students in the class, because they are following the teacher’s instruction and may not realize the change. Unfortunately, if a dancer wasn’t taught the tag/restart, and he/she eventually dances with others who were, imagine how frustrating and embarrassing that would be!

Always remember that line dancing is meant to be fun and hopefully you will feel confident joining the dancers at your local bar/club. My suggestion to anyone who is looking for a class, or already taking one, is to ask the teacher how he/she feels about “tags and restarts.” Hopefully that instructor, like me, welcomes new students and tags/restarts with open arms!

Step Sheets

This dance has 1 tag:

A Drink In My Hand (Eric Church)

This dance has a restart and easy tag:

Drunk On A Plane (Dierks Bentley)

Dori Yez teaches Country Line Dancing on Mondays at Rolling Mills Bar in Girard, Ohio and Wednesdays at Social 45 in Lisbon, Ohio. For more information, check out the clubs Facebook pages.

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