American Square Dances of The West
& Southwest - online instruction book

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of the West and Southwest
couple and wheeling to face them again requires eight beats of music. The figure is usually repeated back to place, giving a total time of sixteen beats for the entire movement.
In the Western dance the Right and Left Through is not re­peated back to place unless so directed by the call, for often the dancers are directed to pass by the opposite couple and then dance directly into another movement In this case, the wheel is omitted (which requires four beats) and Partners do not join their left hands after passing through the opposite couple. The formal Quadrille "Right and Left" and the Eastern "Right and Left Through" calls are for the full figure of passing through, wheeling around and passing back and wheeling around to face again, unless the call is "Half Right and Left" which is not used in the Western dance. In the West the call of "Right and Left Through" applies to only half of the full figure. If the com­plete movement is desired the Western form of the call would be: "Right and Left Through and Right and Left back" In all cases where the Right and Left Through is followed by a differ­ent movement and the dancers do not wheel around or take left hands with Partners, the call will clearly indicate the movement ahead of its execution, as: "Right and Left Through and dorit turn back" "Right and Left Through with a gee and a haw" or "Right and Left Through and swing the girl behind you" to give a few examples.
The term "Right and Left Through" means to pass from the right to the left side, and is not a direction to take right and left hands. While many localities and individuals take right hands with their opposites when passing by them in this figure, it is not part of the movement. Often it has been introduced as a teaching device. If right hands are taken by the dancers as they pass through, it will be found very awkward to dance directly into any other movement, as well as giving a "reaching" appear­ance to the figure, which is never desirable in the Square Dance. The only hands taken in the Right and Left Through, whether danced by two, three, or four couples, are Partner's left hands

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III