Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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oughly and breaks down all barriers and stiffness, and gives them all a chance to become familiar with a few fundamental elements of the old dances.
Have all the dancers stand holding hands in a great circle around the hall and all facing the center of the room. Men and women must alternate. Two or three extra women or a few extra men together in the circle will spoil the dance. The caller must see to it that they are evenly and alternately distributed.
He must then explain that the woman on each man's right is his partner, that each will constantly get new part­ners in this dance, but always the woman to the right is the man's partner. It is well to explain further that in all old-time dancing not only is the woman on the right the man's partner, but he must get the habit of always putting his partner on his right when he takes a position in the circle or in a square or when he promenades the hall. As soon as each man learns always to put his partner on his right side much of the confusion of learning is eliminated.
Now the caller briefly explains the few directions or "calls" that he will use during the dance, and has the group walk through them slowly before the music begins.
Circle right—Still holding hands, each dancer turns to the right and walks with a light gliding step around the circle in that direction until the call is changed.
Circle left—Each dancer, turning to the left and still holding hands, walks with the circle in the opposite direc­tion, or to the left. The caller must explain that he will never call these circles in the same order and that they must get used to listening for the "call" and following the "call" on the instant, whatever it is.
Forward and back—The whole circle, holding hands, walks forward, beginning with the right foot, four steps toward the center, closing in the circle, and then walks four steps back.
Grand right and left—Each man, turning to the right, faces his partner and takes her right hand (she having turned to her left and faced him). Partners walk past each other holding right hands for a moment and then releasing them so that the man can take the next lady in the circle by the left hand, while the lady takes the next man by the left, and in this fashion they keep,marching, each taking each new person they meet alternately with the right and then