Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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centrifugal force is so great that if the gentlemen spin fast with short steps and their feet close together, or even sometimes interlaced through each other, the ladies' feet will come off the floor and they will spin around flattened out at a level with the men's should­ers. The men often dip slightly as they spin them, raising and lifting so that the ladies' bodies swing up and down like the wings of a butterfly, their feet often almost touching above the gentlemen's heads. This last should not be attempted until the hold is completely mastered and they know what they are doing. I have seen an improperly held lady hurled clear across the room and against the wall. I have seen arms broken from falls in this dance. And the whirling feet of the ladies may do much damage if they hit anyone, or be severely hurt themselves if they hit any hard object
e)   The four dancers break holds, and separating, join hands in a regular circle of four. See page 160 for directions for the docey-doe.
f)   First couple advances to third couple and repeats, then to fourth couple, and returns to place in square.
3. See page 152 for directions or substitute any other ending given there.
Most dancers prefer avoiding the dangers and being less strenuous. They execute this figure in the old form of the California Show Basket. Both the ladies' and gentlemen's joined arms are lowered in part (d) to the others' waists. All four lean back as far as possible, held at the waist, and form a basketlike group, flaring wide at the top. In this position they turn very slowly to the left. This can be very graceful and beautiful, although the footwork feels awkward to the dancers.
In order to make the footwork neat and co-ordinated a buzz step should be used. When circling to the left each dancer crosses his right foot over in front of his left and keeps it there through all the circling. The full weight is put on the right foot which steps flat on the floor, but the left foot (which is crossed behind), takes the weight only with a light step on the toe. With the four dancers stepping in

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