Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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72
COWBOY DANCES
Then the music changes to a slow 3/4 time, and the couple waltzes around the room for twelve bars of the music. For what would be the last four bars of the waltz section, however, the music changes back to the snappy 4/4 time of the original, and they hippety-hop again to the man's left with a step-close-step-close-step.
The whole routine is repeated as many times as desired, the music playing over and over and over again. (At some old-time dances you wonder if it will ever end.)
As one gets used to the step he will find himself dipping slightly in the first part with his right knee as he extends and closes his left foot away from and to his right. And he will find it natural to want to make the return a little longer swing and put his left foot behind or in front of his right instead of merely closing to the side of it. It is customary in this case to cross it first behind and the next time in front. So the left foot points to the side, then crosses behind the right, points to the side, and then crosses in front of the left—then the sashay. The lady, of course, does just the opposite, pointing right, crossing in front, pointing right, and then crossing behind.
A variation called the Scotch is sometimes introduced to add a bit of fun. The dance is just the same except that the dancers hop like a Scotch reel throughout the first part. That is, instead of standing on the right and pointing with the left foot, they hop on the right while they point with the left, and hop again on the right while they close with the left making the whole thing very bouncy and jolly.
We found another delightful variation current in the North Park of Colorado. Here instead of the point close, point close of the first four beats, they walk together to the left for three steps and close on the fourth; that is, still maintaining their regular dance position, they face slightly toward their extended hands (the man's left), and starting with the outside feet take three steps and close. The man walks left, right, left, and closes his right to his left, and the lady does just the opposite. Then they do the sashay, or slide close, to the right in the regular form. Now they walk three steps and close to the man's right and the lady's left. Then they slide-close back to the left in the regular form and follow it all with the customary waltz.
It is a pleasant and amusing variation and can be quite graceful, especially when they walk to the right, looking






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