Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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76
COWBOY DANCES
The man standing with his partner on his right and holding her in a waist-shoulder position takes three light running steps forward, left, right, left, and then hops on his left foot while he swings his right foot up and forward. Then he runs again, right, left, right, and hops on his right while he swings his left foot forward. Now taking his partner's right hand in his left, he assumes the regular dance position and steps on his left and hops on his left, then steps right and hops with his right, and then repeats with a left and hop and a right and hop, all the time pivoting around in a right-face position. During the four hops he should have made a complete revolution and should be fac­ing forward again. He lets go his partner's right hand, turns away from her so they are again side by side, and repeats the dance again as many times as desired. It often helps if the caller directs the men in their steps by calling left-right-left-swing; right-left-right-swing; left-hop; right-hop; left-hop; right-hop.
At most of the old-time dances I go to they do this over and over interminably at a rather slow tempo until I marvel at how they can keep it up. Occasionally some older couple will show some variation such as both stepping to the left with their left feet in the first part of the dance and hop­ping on their left feet while they swing their right feet up across and in front of their left. Then they step right and hop right while they swing their left feet across to the right. Repeating this again to each side, they are ready for the closed or dance position and do the step-hop while they rotate with the others. Or occasionally instead of the step-hop in the second part, they do a little modified, rather open two-step. The regular two-step, you will remember, is to step on the left on the first beat of the music and close the right to the left and quickly step again on the left to the second beat of the music, then do the same to the right, and so on. They do not quite close, however, in their modified two-step, but step left on the first beat and then step quickly and lightly on the right and immediately with the left again on the second beat. So, instead of a left-hop, right-hop, they do a left-right-left, right-left-right.
Even with these variations the dance is still apt to be a little monownous, especially since either the two-step or the hop calls for a complete rotation always in the same direction with a consequent dizziness. And it is always






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