Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
his lady toward the other. The two ladies take right hands and pass again, giving their left hands to their partners this time, who again pivot and turn them to place. It is more graceful if the lady, when she gives her left hand to the gentleman, places her right hand well back on her hip, palm outward, so as to receive the gentleman's right hand when he turns her around.
When either of these figures is encountered I think it adds pleasure to the dance to recognize it as of the purest New England ancestry. And yet the ladies chain is so rare in the West that its commonest form modifies it from a two ladies chain to a three ladies chain in the dance of that name, and even sends the ladies chaining for the full length of the hall at times, giving right hands to each other and left hands to the fixed line of gentlemen, who stand dizzily pivoting to the left and passing the ladies on interminably.
Types of Western Squares
There are several distinct patterns or types of Western dances. If you understand the essential structure of each type you will fit any new call into its type immediately and only have to become acquainted with the variation. And so I believe it will pay to discuss the types in order that the whole general architecture of the dance may be kept in mind.
The Docey-Doe Type
The docey-doe type is perhaps the most typical form of the Western dance. The docey-doe serves as a subchorus, the grand right and left as the grand chorus. After an intro­duction, the first couple goes to the second, executes a special figure and a docey-doe, goes on to the third couple and does the same figure and the docey-doe, then on to the fourth, re­peating the figure and the docey-doe, then balances home and they all do the allemande left and grand right and left, pre­ceded usually with a swing, and ending always with a promenade to place. Then the second couple goes around the ring visiting each other couple in turn, third, fourth, and first, and does the figure and docey-doe with each and back home to join with all in the grand right and left. Then it is all repeated with the third couple visiting around the ring, then repeated for the fourth couple, and after the last grand right and left and last promenade the dance is over.

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