Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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And swing a little while. Four hands 'round And gents patter down.
But he couldn't make them understand what he wanted. On his gents patter down he insisted on a back-handed doceij-doe which he called an Allemande left with four. Some of our old dancers had danced in squares for over sixty years, but they could make nothing out of his call. After their first try and hopeless confusion they stood laughing at him, and he went home in a huff, so very irregular that he could fit nowhere in our scheme of things.
Original Dances
Surely it is obvious that every dance in existence had to be done a first time by someone. Some, to be sure, are modi­fications of older dances, but each modification also had to be done for the first time. In dancing especially is it true that "there is nothing new under the sun." The arrange­ment of old elements in each dance, and its pattern, was original sometime with someone somewhere. Only the dead tree ceases to put out shoots. Surely it is a sign of vitality for each caller to experiment a little with some new call or new arrangement. I have only had time to do a little of this, but I simply could not help inventing a few new dances of my own, borrowing from European folk-dance figures, or from any figure that I thought might be used.
I have put a few of these original calls as my very last sec­tion. I have not separated them for distinction or for apology, but as a challenge to other groups to make their own. Since many readers will want to be able to distinguish the old and traditional from the new and brash, it seems only fair to admit that these are not old traditional dances of the West­ern pioneers. They are simply experiments on the old square frame done for pure fun.
Exhibition Dancing
If your group should become familiar with many of the old dances they are pretty sure to be called upon to exhibit them somewhere. If they do, there is one last suggestion that I should like to make. Keep them alive and up to tempo, and avoid as many repetitions as possible.

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