Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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In most of the dances of this type whatever the figure may be, the man promenades with the corner girl, that is, with the girl on the left, and takes her to his home position. This means that each lady progresses one gentleman to the right each time. Thus, the first lady progresses to the position of the second couple, the second lady to the third, and so on. Usually the call continues the same old gent (that is, still the first gent) and a brand new girl (that is, the fourth girl) dozen the center and away they whirl, and they repeat the dance by splitting the ring and each circling around. The next time it is the same gentleman and still a new girl. On the fourth repetition the first gentleman finds his lady has progressed to the fourth position, and is now his corner girl, so he promenades with her and has her back home. Then usually a left allemande and right and left grand is used as a general chorus before the second couple is called out for the dance, and it all repeats itself.
Sometimes this is accomplished by each dancer executing a figure with the corner and being then directed to finish by promenading with the corner, which makes it all very simple to put the ladies through their progression. But more often the figure is done with the partner and then comes the call all run away with the corner girl, when each gentleman goes to the corner lady and leads her around the promenade to his home position. When the figure is exe­cuted with the corner, it is often followed with the call:
Allemande left just one,
And promenade the girl you swung.
This means that each man does an allemande left with the girl on his left and then returns to the corner girl with whom he just did the figure (the girl he swung), and promenades with her, thus effecting the necessary progression. This pro­gression must be remembered as the essential feature of most of these split the ring dances.
In the Waltz Quadrille, an old favorite, we find a varia­tion when the lady returns back center after the first couple has passed through the third couple; that is, she passes back through them again instead of circling around to the right, but the gentleman stays outside and circles in the regular manner. He meets her at their original position, but she has taken a short cut.