What is an 8 count in dance? Frequently Asked Questions

Ever since music has been around, musicians, dancers and singers have endeavoured to find a way to count the beats in music and also understand the structure quickly and easily. The vast majority of music out there at the moment and in history has an 8 count attached to it. The 8 count is around the beat of a piece of music, and all it means is that you count out 8 beats and then you have the 8 count for the music. This makes it easier to dance to, because you can tell exactly when the 8 count starts again. Once you know where the count stops and starts as music progresses, you can build your dance around it.

So how does it help my dancing again?

It helps your dancing because it allows you to follow the beat and time your moves (as well as shape your moves) so they complement the music. If you know when a beat is going to change tempo, for example, you can build a dance around it. And if you know when an 8 count is going to go back to ‘1’ again, you can create a dance move around that moment. It helps you to stay in rhythm and create a more professional and appealing dance.

Try it out the next time you hear a piece of music. You’ll find that the majority of the music you listen to (not all of it) contains an 8 count on the beat. If you’re dancing to it, it soon becomes very easy to build a series of moves.