Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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It is best to discourage it in the Circle Two-Step, though some beginners instinctively try to do it.
I once saw a very fine group of dancers in a state con­test use a slow "cakewalk" step, with arms folded high on the chest, head well back, and knees lifted very high on each step. It was effective, but all the old-timers around me insisted that it was not the real thing, that nobody ever danced like that in the good old days. I suspect, though, that even in the good old days special groups did whatever they pleased if it added fun to the dance, even as they still do today.
The most effective, the most fun, and the most fascinat­ing step to watch is the good old gliding, shuffling, rhythmi­cal walk, perfected until it has an uncouth grace all of its own.
When they choose their partners in the Grand Right and Left and dance freely over the floor they should use the old-fashioned two-step. This will prove a difficulty to some of them. Of course, th§ easiest solution is to let them one-step. But it creates more fun and gives the satisfaction of start­ing with a good old-time dance step if the two-step is more or less mastered. They came for an old-fashioned dance, and they are usually laughingly jubilant over their jerky two-step, no matter how badly they do it.
The Two-Step
The two-step is essentially a step-together-step or step-close-step, starting alternately to one side and then the other. Or it is analyzed more completely as follows, in which the directions are given for the man, the woman of course, using the opposite foot and the opposite direction from the man.
On the first beat of the music let the man slide his left foot out to the left, and before the second beat let him close his right foot to his left. Then on the second beat let him step backward in a short step with his left foot. On the first beat of the second bar of the music let him slide his right foot to the right and quickly close his left foot to his right, and on the second beat take a short step forward with his right foot.
If he repeats this through several bars of music, for practice, he will find that he is remaining almost in one spot,