Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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THE FIRST DANCE
45
be given twice in the same order. But, of course, once the Grand right and left has been called, it must be followed by Dance that pretty gal around, and after a period of general dancing must be followed by Form yonr grand circle.
After the dancers have gone through the whole dance several times it may be necessary to advise them about the shuffling gliding step that is used, and about the carriage of the upper body.
The Steps
The Circle Two-Step offers a good chance to practice the steps that are used in all square dancing. And though some of the variants are seldom used in this circle dance, it may be best to discuss them all at this time.
The step most frequently used is a light, gliding, shuffling walk with a promenade rhythm. The knees are loose, the step is light and somewhat shuffling an-i in complete swing with the music. The best dancers hold themselves quite erect or stiff from the waist up, shoulders back and elbows high, wide, and handsome, the dip and sway of the body being mostly produced from the loose-jointed hips and knees. There is a grace and beauty and swing to a good dancer that is very catching.
Some dancers take a little leap or jump on each step, springing up and down quite joyously. This is usually the mark of a beginner. The old-timers are always so smooth that if you saw them dancing beyond a low wall, you would think they were whirling and spinning and moving on cas­ters or wheels, such is the action of the upper body. Watch­ing their feet, however, one is fascinated with the flash and speed and loose-jointed abandon. Nearly all of them put in frequent "breaks" or "two-steps." (The same step that is used in marching to get in step with the platoon.) In step and out of step they continually interpolate this little "break." Now and then they "stamp" to accent the rhythm. And the best dancers throw in a little jig or "hoe-down" without ever missing their step, just a flashing little flourish to add fun and beauty to the figure.
Once in a while, though very rarely, and always for some special call, the whole set may do a "hippety-hop," or skip­ping step. But this is very exhausting and is seldom seen.






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