Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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88
COWBOY DANCES
The first part is the same as the dance described above except that the partners use opposite feet, always pointing with the outside foot or the foot farthest from the partner. This makes it much more graceful and symmetrical, and is just as easy to execute as when the partners use the same foot and keep it, as it were, in step with each other.
To be more specific, the man sweeps back and points with his left foot while the lady sweeps back and points with her right. This lets them each point out and away from the other, making a most delightful position for the onlookers. On the cross-over she steps left and then points left while he steps right and points right, which makes the cross-over easier and much more natural. This greater ease makes me think that this is the original and correct position for the dance and that the other form is a corruption introduced because it was easier to teach beginners if you let them all keep in step with their teacher and with each other. In this older form it becomes natural for each "point" to be away from your partner, adding considerable grace to the dance. After repeating this first part once, all the couples go into sixteen measures of waltz.
In the second part the couples take the regular dance position; that is, with the lady's right hand resting in the gentleman's extended left hand and her left on his shoulder while his right encircles her waist. The first steps are the same as before, the gentleman sweeping back and pointing with his left foot, the lady with her right, and both looking and pointing in the direction of their extended arms. Since they are face to face, their two feet are almost together in the point, and their extended arms above the pointing feet. Instead of the cross-over they both walk with three short steps in the direction of their extended arms and then, turning together, point backward, the gentleman with his right and the lady with her left foot, and look back over their enclosing arms toward their pointing feet. Still look­ing backward, they repeat the movement, this time the gentleman sweeping and pointing with his right foot and the lady with her left, and then with three short walking steps in this backward direction they turn together and both point front again, or in the direction of their extended arms.






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