Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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Variety may be added by using a variant of the grand right and left, or by using some other ending such as Swing your opposite across the hall Good dancers sometimes add variety without the caller's help by letting the second couple do the figure and doeey-doe with the third couple at the same time the first couple goes on to the fourth. This puts the whole set in action at once instead of having two couples standing inactive. Less often, and only with very expert dancers and very energetic ones, the whole set keeps in action all of the time. The third couple jumps out to the fourth and dances the figure with them while the first couple dances with the second. But the third must finish in time and be back home ready to receive the first when they- advance to meet them. The fourth couple in the mean­time swing more or less to the center of the set ready for the second couple, who advances to them and does the figure with them while the first and third are in action together. It is now the turn of the fourth to hurry and make sure they are home in time for the oncoming first. For, after all, the dance really belongs to the first couple, it is called for them, and the other couples must be in place to receive them when the caller sends them on. As the first and fourth do the figure the second meets the third with the same. Then they all balance home for the grand right and left. And so on through the four repetitions of the dance, they all keep active all of the time. Unless they are experts and sure of their timing, it only makes for confusion and sloppiness; even with experts there must be agreement as to who is the active couple, or it will lead to collisions. Of course, the first is active all three times, and perhaps it is best for the others to follow the order of third, fourth, and second couples being active each in turn on the off couple's figures. But any agreement as to this that any group arrives at will be satisfactory so long as it is an agreement that is always understood.
Sometimes the caller directs this double action, speeds things up, and shortens the dance with a call—second couple follow up. After the first couple has danced with the second couple and then with the third couple in the regular manner the caller says, "On to the next and the second foUow up." The first couple then advances to the fourth and at the same time the second couple advances to the third, and the two groups of four are in action at the same time. Then on the