Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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Figure after figure in square dancing calls for this "swing" which is always done as above, and must be under­stood and mastered, if so easy a maneuver can be said to be "mastered," before one goes on with the dance. It is usually customary to make two complete revolutions when the "swing" is called for, but in some dizzy figures one revolu­tion will be quite enough.
As soon as they have "swung," each couple promenades back "home," or back to the position they were originally standing in. They march two-by-two; that is, side by side, with the lady on the right side of the gentleman, and holding hands with the arms crossed in front of them as in the customary pair skating position; that is, the man holds the lady's left hand in his left hand and her right hand in his right with his right arm across above or in front of her left. (In skating it is usually crossed under the lady's the better to support her, but in dancing it is always crossed above.)
The promenade is always to the right, or counterclock­wise. It occurs again and again throughout the figure of the dance, and the right-hand direction must become a habit.
Other introductory figures are used, but we can teach them with later dances. This Honors right and honors left is by far the commonest and is, therefore, the best to begin with.
After executing it the couples are back just where they started from, all facing the center as at the beginning, and ready for the dance proper to begin.
One of the easiest dances to start beginners with I have found to be:
Form a Star with the Right Hand Cross
This is in typical square formation with first couple visiting around to each of the others in turn, beginning with the second couple, going on to the third, and finishing with the fourth. Then the second couple visits around the square repeating the same figure in turn with each of the others, the third, the fourth, and lastly the first couple. Then the third and fourth couples each visit around the square in the same manner. While the first and second couples are doing the figure, the third and fourth couples merely stand and await their turn. In this type of square there are always