Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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comes out even in the end, and cuts the dance exactly in half.
There are many dances in the section where one lady or gentleman goes out that are very simple. For instance, One Little Buffalo out around the Ring is so easy as to be fool­proof, and it has a lot of laughs in it.
Once the group has done a dozen different dances they can try anything safely. Of course, such a dance as Wave the Ocean requires such a precision of timing that a general mixed group had better leave it alone or they will be mixed indeed. But any group that has worked together for any time at all can soon have it running smoothly, and their mastery of its timing will accentuate their pleasure in it.
Endings and Beginnings
There are only a few introductory figures current in the West, but it is well for the caller to have his group used to all of them, and to keep variety up by changing as often as possible. You will find them all in the second section of this manual. Any introduction will serve as well as another for any dance, with very few exceptions, and the caller must always strive for variety. To keep the interest up he must make them follow the call, and never let them know what is coming next. If some wise set runs ahead of the call with too much overconfidence, he had better change the call sud­denly and leave them hanging out on a limb. It is good discipline and good dancing.
And so with the endings. In the second section you will find them all. Any ending can be used for any dance, and the caller should always use a different ending so the dancers will keep their ears pricked up for the call, and their interest on the alert. Only in the case of one or two dances is any particular ending more appropriate than any other. But in every other case scramble them joyously.
In the ending:
Swing your opposite across the hall; Now the lady on your right, etc.
there is sometimes trouble on the first trial because the ladies, in their enthusiasm, cross over to meet the gentlemen, instead of standing still as they should, and waiting for the gentlemen to come to them. But the chief trouble comes from