Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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Chapter U
The Round Dances
I T WAS the custom at the old-time dances to form the sets for a square and while the sets were on the floor to dance through two complete dances or tips. Then a round dance would be played. And it in turn would be followed by the two tips of another square.
The round dances were couple dances, the couples free moving over the floor as in the modern ballroom dance. But our grandmothers' couple dances were always special dances such as the polka, the schottische, or the varsouvianna, or mazurka.
In the barn dances of today, or the so-called old-time dances of today, the same custom usually prevails of two squares and then a round dance repeating through the eveĀ­ning. But the round dance today is usually a one-step, or fox trot, or some modern dance. Only occasionally do they put in a real old-time round dance. The modern ''old-time dance" which we see advertised is often a transition and shows signs of breaking down into a completely modern-time dance, with perhaps one or two squares dragged into the evening. When such a group as that to which this book is addressed sets out to play with the genuine old-time dance, nothing but the old-time round dances should appear on the program. The modern should be completely taboo. Alternate your evenings if you will, one being completely modern and one completely old-time. Do not alternate the two in the program of any one evening.
Even if you are teaching a group of beginners, the round dances must be introduced early in the evening, perhaps only one or two of them the first evening, repeating each later in the program to make sure it is well learned. But the variety introduced by the round dances is essential to