The Texas two-step includes lots of turns and spins.

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Country Western Dances

Like all dancing, Country Western dancing depends on music. Different dances evolved to work with different types and speeds of music. By far the most popular are the many variations of the Two Step (see Two Step article this page.)

For music that is too slow for Two Step, other dances have evolved that have more steps. Three step is a double-time version of Two Step that can be danced to slow music. Also, Fort Worth Shuffle (see article this page), Triple Two, and Country Cha work with the same slow Country music. Think Neon Moon, Wide Open Spaces, or Straight Tequila Night.

East Coast Swing is also frequently danced to Country music. As a spot dance, it's great for places with a small dance floor. Some people like to insert Single Time Swing patterns into their Two Step for variety.

For slow, blues-y music, try West Coast Swing. It can be danced in a very small space, yet has an endless variety of patterns that show off the lady and allow for lots of personal style.

For music in 3/4 time, a Waltz is a Waltz is a Waltz. Many dances can be done to any music that has four beats per measure. But if a Waltz is playing, you'll need to learn to dance some version of Waltz or sit down during these songs. Country Waltz is a linear symmetrical dance based on walking. It borrows patterns both from Two Step and from Ballroom Waltz.

Dance Across Cleburne teaches all of the dances described here. Call now to set up your introductory private lesson for just $20!

Two Step

The Texas two-step is a lively western dance made popular across the country by the popular movie "Urban Cowboy." The dance itself is a walking dance, which has its roots in American foxtrot and swing.  More complex forms of the Texas two-step include lots of turns and spins with your partner.

As with other country/western dances, there are different versions of two step. Even the same dance may go by different names depending on the area of the U.S., and even in the particular dance hall. There may be no one "correct" way to do a particular dance.

The Two Step can be danced over a fairly wide range of tempos, such as 130 bpm to over 200 bpm. Accomplished dancers can dance to tempos above 185 bpm.

The United Country Western Dance Counsel (UCWDC) rules list the Two-step at 182-198 BPM for competition music, while the Country Western Dance International (CWDI) rules lists the Two-step at 160-192 BPM for competition music.

As an asymmetrical dance (one that starts with the same foot each time) any variation of the  Two-Step must have an even number of steps: quick, quick slow, slow is very common and the pattern of the steps are often referred to as "Step-together, walk, walk." This Two Step was taught as early 1983. When danced faster, this same foot rhythm begins to feel more like a three step shuffle on the left followed by a single walking step on the right (for the man) and is appropriately called Three Step.  If  four weight changes is too much for the dancers, they sometimes skip the middle two steps of the shuffle and the pattern becomes step, tap, step to the same rhythm. This tapping style is sometimes called Half Step or Step & A Half and can be danced to extremely fast music.

Another "two step" done almost exclusively in Arizona is also known as Rhythm Two-step, and is almost stationary. The rhythm is Step forward, Touch, Step backward, Touch, Walk Walk. Its music is in tempo between Triple Two-step and Texas Two-step.

In social situations, very close dance positions are common, as are intertwined arms or holding on to the partner's belt or belt loops. However, most interesting patterns such as spins, vines and weaves require a more open position similar to a Latin or Rhythm dance.

The Two Step is a dance with roots in European and Mexican dance history and appeared in Germany and Hungary in the 1800s. Similar steps danced at Mexican fandangos were also an influence.

Fort Worth Shuffle

Fort Worth Shuffle is a regional Country and Western dance that originated about ten years ago in Fort Worth, Texas. It started, according to one account, when a lady showed a drunk man the ladies footwork from Dallas Progressive Double Two Step (a variation of Triple Two Step). When the man sobered up, he did the ladies footwork from Progressive Double Two Step - not realizing what had happened, and a new dance was born.

The count of the dance is 123,4&5,6&. The dance is progressive and generally orbits in a continuous left hand turn. Many of the spins and wraps were taken from West Coast Swing. The basic position is closed, and the man begins with his right foot on a 'down' beat. From the count, the first 'triple step' begins on an 'up' beat. This makes the dance different from East Coast Swing, polka, and Triple Two Step which begin the 'triple steps' on the 'down' beat. The dance is growing slowly in popularity, and is currently offered for UCWDC competition as a regional dance. The 1995 UCWDC rules contain a dance description for Southwest Shuffle (aka. Ft. Worth Shuffle).

The footwork is three sliding steps forward (123). A step directly to the side (4), slide the other foot to close (&). Step forward on foot that took 4 (5). A step to the other side (6), and slide the feet closed (&). You should now be ready to step forward on 1 again. The man begins with his left foot, and alternates on every step (left, right, left, right, etc). On the side steps there is ideally no forward progression. The ladies footwork mirrors the mans. You don't pick your feet up. This gives the dance a very smooth appearance on the floor, dancers who are good at it look like they are ice skating.

Greg Baxter / Erin Pryor - 21st Texas Hoe Down - Couples Novice, Division III - Fort Worth Shuffle

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