Country Couple Dancing
The Two Step as it is danced today may have descended from the “Collegiate Foxtrot” the parent dance of the Texas Two Step. Over time, the dance was called the Country Foxtrot, and square dancers merged into the Country Western Dance Community. The Two Step was traditionally danced by bringing the feet together on each step (as in a Polka Triple Step). However, since it is now done as a progressive dance moving around the floor, dancers pass their feet on each step to keep it flowing smoothly. The timing is Q Q S S, although Two Step is sometimes counted as two slows followed by two quick’s.
The Waltz is the oldest of the modern ballroom dances, dating back to 18th Century Germany. IN the United States, the Waltz was introduced in 1834 in Boston. At the close of the 19th Century, a slow waltz called the Boston had developed, later evolving into the style still danced today. Another style, The Hesitation, used one step for three beats of music. Hesitation steps are still commonly seen on the dance floor The Waltz, in fact, has become a timeless dance, possibly because of the beauty and appeal of music in ¾ time, and also because its steps have such a direct relationship to the music. Country Western versions of the dance are more relaxed, featuring mostly progressive step patterns.
The origins of Polka have been traced to a young peasant girl in Czechoslovakia in the mid-19th Century. The Polka is the only 19th Century European dance to have survived to the present. Its popularity led to a wider acceptance of the closed dance position in Waltz, and these two dances areas till widely danced today. As Czech and Polish immigrants settled in various parts of the United States, their dance steps adapted rather naturally to various other types of music. The Polka can be danced to music in 4/4 time as well 2/4 (traditional Polka), so the dance regained popularity because of its suitability for Country Western rhythms.
The smooth style Triple Two Step we know today is quite different from its ancestors developed twenty to thirty years ago. The original version was a Polka (rhythm) style dance developed in the Dallas, Texas area and known as the Double Two Step. Other areas called it by different names. In Virginia it was known as the Norfolk. In the mid-west and Canada, it was called Swing on the Run and/or Swing on the move.
The walking steps were eventually put at the beginning of the basic and it became counted as 1-2, 3& 4, 5& 6 (walk, walk, Triple Step, Triple Step.). As time evolved, the UCWDC made much progress in creating an up dated, smooth and flowing Triple Two, a dance anyone can do regardless of age. They eliminated the Lilt and developed a beautiful dance which is romantic and sweet in nature.
This dance was formalised by Buddy Schwimmer in the 1960’s, which has developed from “slow dancing’ in nightclubs, with a swaying motion.
The dance called The Mambo, which was first performed in New York around 1950, soon evolved into a very fast dance known as the Triple Mambo. Unfortunately, for the average social dancers, the movements were too fast. As a result, the dance underwent some minor modifications. The tempos were slowed and the triple count was done with a three step change of weight footwork, thus, the Cha-Cha as we know it was born.
East Coast Swing
The East Coast Swing has developed from the Jitterbug, which in turn developed from the influence of the Charleston in the 1920’s. The Jitterbug came to prominence in the 1950’s when the dance started being done t the popular music of the Big Bands.
West Coast Swing
The West Coast Swing has derived from the Lindy-Hop in the USA in the 1940’s. The West Coast Swing developed in the 1950’s and was originally called “Western Swing”; however the name change to West Coast Swing in the 1960’s. It became the official dance of California. To distinguish between the two types of Swing, basic Swing was called East Coast Swing.