The Boston also laid claim to be the first ballroom dance to be done with feet parallel rather than turned out, as in ballet (Sadie, 1980.) During these times many variations of the Boston vied for the publics acceptence. Many dances and songs were named "Some titled_Boston" or some other states name like "Chicago Valse" etc. Eventually the Boston ment American.... like Boston Waltz = American Waltz, or Boston One Step = American One Step etc. It somewhat became an umbrella term.
There were 4 different versions of the Boston, not including the Boston Dip (around 1870) which was just a dipping variation in the Boston, done by a huge step that would make the knees bend or "Dip" the body down and and was danced with the partners holding their hands on each others hips.
1) American Boston (Slower),
2) French Boston (More Rapid)
3) Imitative Boston (? Imitating something or someone obviously).
4) Valse L' Americaine was first composed in 1866 by the Societe' Academique des Profeseurs de danse de Paris. (French version of the Boston).
Originally, (Kinney's book explains that), the distinguishing step-combination was complete in one measure (1&2-3&4). Its essence is in a certain effect of syncopation, secured by keeping the weight on the same foot through two successive beats, contrary to the practice of transferring the weight with each beat, as with the old Waltz. Another peculiarity of the Boston was the carriage of the weight counter to the line of direction of travel, giving an effect of holding back. The dance is performed with deliberation; its execution aims at a rather "grand" style. The "dip" characteristic (later removed) of and named for the Boston was, in its execution, the same as the "dip" when done in the One-step. Many people wanted the Dip removed from the dance as it was hard on the dancers bodies, however it found a new home in the early 1910's with the exhibition dancers of the day...
The Boston Dip was, in practice, a series of three successive dips, executed in reverse turning movement. Each of the three occupies a whole measure, and a fourth measure is used in returning to the regular Boston walking step ... (As an aid), count as follows: Step,' Dip,' Point-dip, Step,' Dip,' Turn. ' Turn in the regular direction, not in reverse; and accompany the turn also with a dip. The step description at the bottom of the page applies to the Long Boston (Philadelphia). In the Short Boston each beat was made to the equivalent of two counts for the feet. The resulting jerkiness and lack of sweep excluded the Short Boston from any lasting popularity.
The Philadelphia Boston was popular in the early 1900's and the music was waltz done quite fast. It was also known as One-step Waltz , the Long Boston and The Drop Step, (on account of all the steps being dropped or eliminated except the one).
In London it was also called the Berceuse or Cradle Boston which was the form of Boston most popular at the time and reportedly the most difficult dance for the ballroom on account of the simplicity of its composition. It depended entirely upon each individual to create a most graceful dance, from actually only one step to the measure, and to rotate progressively around the room. After a little practice by the beginner it will be noticed that there was not much progression in this movement, and that it was quite difficult to move as quickly around the room as in the old dance (the Waltz and the Two-step); so it was necessary to add a few other movements which will bring about the desired result, Such as the Spanish Boston and the Herring Bone Boston which was taught for several years, closely resembling the Hesitation Waltz which was so popular at the time. The Canter Waltz was basically two steps per measure.
An interesting side note speaking of Hesitations, In 1913 Albert Newman created the Hesitation Boston (One Step per Measure) which merged with the Boston, in which used a pattern he called the "The Stroll" he states: Gracefully walk backward four steps, starting with the left foot one measure, right foot one measure, left foot one measure and right foot one measure. Now walk forward to the left oblique, having the lady in Yale Position four steps (left foot one measure, right foot one measure, left foot one measure, right foot one measure). Second Part.-- Boston Turning to the right four measures". This is very similar to the stroll of the 1960s.
Allen Dodsworth (1840's) states when explaining the Redowa (basically a waltz): "At this slow speed many persons failed in accenting the Redowa correctly, gradually falling into the simpler succession of slide, change, leap, as in the polka; after a time this was called polka Redowa, and completely displaced the Redowa. The name was, however, retained in the Redowa waltz, and a distinction was made between that and the ordinary waltz by springing with great energy upon the leap--the "too-too's" (or excessive's) of those days not failing to make their disposition known by exaggerating the leap. Our beautiful waltz of today (the Boston) is a subdued Redowa. Those who failed in those days, finding this Redowa beyond their powers of accomplishment, modified it to the hop waltz, as those who fail now modify the waltz to what is called the Boston."
The Boston waned in popularity in the early 1900's, but stimulated the English or International style of waltz done today.