Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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doing a sort of flattened square. But this will give him his rhythm and his steps most quickly, and when it is mastered he can step forward or back as he wishes and progress in any direction he may choose. To go forward, for instance, he will slide with his left, close together with his right, and take a short step forward with his left—then on the next bar of music slide with his right, close together with his left and take a short step forward with his right. He will repeat this series as long as he wishes to continue forward.
Since on the first beat there is the "slide" and the "close" and on the second beat of the music only the "step," some beginners find it easier to count the music "one-and-two-and," "one-and-two-and," etc. In this case they "slide" on the "one," "close" on the "and," and "step" on the "two," holding through the final "and."
The real two-step should be smooth and beautiful to watch. But in a Western dance it is quite in kind to make it joyous and bouncy. In fact, the man will find that if he spins continuously to the right while he dances (that is, in the "right face" direction), it is good fun to lift the lady off the floor as he "slides" (or just before he "slides") with his right foot. As he leads with his left he does a regular two-step, but always as he leads with his right he lifts his partner as high as he dares without spoiling her rhythm or her step, for she must come down exactly on the beat. And the faster the spin, the greater the centrifugal force, and the easier the lift. The ladies, bless 'em, seem to like it.
In fact if a group does not care to master a smooth two-step, it is wise for the caller to ask for a Hippety-hop and they will all falHnto something sufficiently like the two-step to serve the purpose. And they will think they are having a very good time.
Allemande Left
After the dancers have the simple version given above so smoothly that the Grand right and left (where the trouble usually occurs) is faultless every time, the men all imme­diately starting to the right, or counterclockwise, and the ladies all going to the left, or clockwise, it is necessary for the caller to explain to them that a Grand right and left is almost universally preceded by a little introductory turn called Allemande left.