Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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Chapter 6
of Dances
mHERE were four distinct types of dances in the old J- American dance program. They were the square dances, such as the quadrille; the longways dances, such as the Vir­ginia Reel; the round dance, such as the Polka and Waltz; and the circle dances, such as the Cicillian Circle or Soldiers9 Joy. In our Western dances, only the modified square and a few of the round dances managed to survive. I hear refer­ences to the old circle dances done here forty years ago, but I have never seen one on a modern program in the West. Only the Circle Two-Step has carried on, and this is so simplified that it has little in common with the fine old-time circle forms.
Also, the splendid longways dances such as Speed the Plough, Lady of the Lake, Hull's Victory, Pop Goes the Weasel, Money Musk, etc., are only names in this part of the country, or revivals in some of the schools. At one old Western dance I attended the caller announced "Pop Goes the Weasel." I was delighted and got my young people out on the floor and all lined up for a good longways dance. But no one else lined up. They stood about the floor in couples, and as the fiddler started the familiar tune they all took a regular dance position and began to two-step.
Which of the old verses do you remember? Is it—
'Round and 'round the cobbler's bench The monkey chased the weasel. The monkey thought 'twas all in fun When pop goes the weasel.
Whichever verse you do remember, you recall that the fourth line is always "Pop goes the weasel." And when the music reached that line, each gentleman turned his lady under his