Line Dancing


A Brief History of Line Dance in South Africa

Prior to 1996 - A handful of Line Dance Studios exist in South Africa informally offering classes to the public.

2000 - July - Caryl Cusens in association with The Playhouse Company presents “Yeeha! It’s Country Style,” showcasing Line Dance, Square Dance and Rock `n Roll. The event formed part of the Playhouse`s education programme and allowed the audience to participate in dance lessons offered during the performance. A number of local studios took part.  
September - A team of 24 dancers participate in the “Night of 100 Stars” production at the Durban International Convention Centre. This was an opportunity to show Line Dance to a wider audience.

2001 - In May, “Under the African Sky”, a SA Line Dancing Competition, was held in Cape Town.  The adjudicators and dance personalities were Rob Fowler & Stella and Rick Wilden.
August - First “Battle of the Boots” competition in Glenwood, hosted by Caryl Cusens with international adjudicators from Switzerland, Arthur and Roshila Furrer.
October - 160 Line dancers participate in “International Simultaneous Line Dance” attempt for the Guinness World Record. Proceeds donated to Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of South Africa. Result was the awarding of a Guinness World Record Certificate to the KZN studios that took part. The event drew a large audience and was videoed and run under strict Guinness rules. December – A couple of Durban dancers competed in the UCWDC world championships in Holland.

2002 - September - Second “Battle of the Boots “competition in Durban North, hosted by Belinda Hellerle and adjudicated by Canadians Bill Bader and Grant Gadbois, with Vicki Bannister also on the panel.
“Kidzz Stomp 2002” competition was held in Durban. The adjudicators were Bill Bader, Grant Gadbois (Vancouver BC) and Vicki Bannister (Pietermaritzburg).

2003 - “Team Line Challenge” was started and sponsored by JK Dance Studio (Jayne Wilson & Ken Mann) it is a Line Dance competition for teams only.

2004 - Dancers who are well known instructors today, travelled to Cape Town to compete in the SA Masters National Competition. The Judges were Rob Fowler, Rachael McEnaney, Paul Mc Adam and Pedro Machado.
October - “Team Line Challenge,” a Line Dance competition for teams hosted by JK Dance Studio held its second event.

2005 - July - Student Teacher exam compiled under SADTA banner. Lynn Lea appointed as examiner.  SADTA holds the first multi-disciplinary Winter Kaleidoscope competition in Durban (Ballroom, Latin and Line Dance). "TeamLine Challenge" was absorbed into Winter Kaleidoscope.  The event continues to run on an annual basis.
October - SADTA KZN holds exams for Line Dance instructors. SADTA examiner Lynn Lea.
November - World Champion Brian Barakauskas visits Durban for guest appearance at a social hosted by CC`s

2006 -   On the 1st October a National Line Dance competition was held in Bloemfontein, with dancers coming from all provinces.  The adjudicators were Rob Fowler (UK), Paul McAdam (UK) & Caryl Cusens (SA)
November - First SADTA social Line Dance medal tests take place in Durban.  Associate teacher’s exam compiled under the SADTA banner.  Lynn Lea Examiner.

2007 - The first of many Winter Round Up socials was held in Gauteng. This continues to be an extremely successful annual event which is very well attended by dancers from throughout South Africa. The funds raised are put towards bringing international instructors and judges to South Africa, who keep us up to date with international trends. 
A team of dancers traveled to America to compete in the UCWDC World Championships in Nashville.

2008 - The 1st Gauteng “Step Up” competition was held with International Judge Lee Easton.
The 1st annual line dance weekend, hosted by Noel Roos, was held on the South Coast of KwaZulu Natal. Dancers enjoyed a variety of workshops and socials and met and made friends with dancers from many other studios. Over the 9 years (so far) studios & instructors from all over the country have attended this event.
August – A number of dancers traveled to the UK to compete in the MIL World Championship.
November - Licentiate exam compiled under SADTA banner

2009 - July - Line Dance Teacher`s Training Course presented at the SADTA Gauteng Annual Congress.

2011 - September –Belinda Hellerle organized the first eight hour Line Dance Marathon held in Arena 3 at Ushaka Marine World. The funds raised were in aid of The Animal Anti-Cruelty League.

2012 - February - SADTA introduces national Medal Test Syllabus, with tests taking place in KZN, Gauteng, Cape, Free State and Limpopo.
September – Over 200 dancers from studios in and around Durban, participated in a Flash Mob which was arranged by Belinda Hellerle. It was held at the finish of the Pick N Pay fun run ending at the SunCoast Amphitheatre.  By dancing to a popular song of the time “I got a feeling” we were able to show how line dance had evolved from pure Country. It now includes many other genres, like Funky.
November - Line Dance exams for Professionals formalized under the SADTA banner. Recognised by the IDTA (UK).

2014 - July - SADTA Line Dance Division invited Roy Hadisubroto from the Netherlands to adjudicate Winter Kaleidoscope. In addition he held a workshop for all interested dancers and instructors. 

2015 - Professional Examiners Syllabus and Examinations compiled by the SADTA.

2018 - Fellowship Syllabus and Examinations compiled by the SADTA.  The SADTALD website was launched.

2020 - This was a very hard year for everyone including the dance world due to Covid-19 protocols.  We managed to forge forward offering Virtual Medal Tests which worked out very well, congratulations to all the students who braved the camera, not so easy.  Some students even braved the virtual competition world too, well done to all.

2021 - May Virtual Medal tests.
2021 - 28th August, Realtime Medal test held at JK Dance Studio in Ballito.  Virtual Medal tests were also offered.
2021 - 20th November, Realtime Medal tests to be held at Fuso Danse Studio in Gillits and an Eisteddford.  Virtual Medal tests also on offer.